We are not the problem . . . we are The Solution to the healthcare crisis in the United States.

By Steve Moran

Recently, we published an article titled Will This Be the Day the Feds Destroyed Assisted Living in response to a newly released GAO report on gaps in reporting issues or potential issues in senior living communities that serve Medicaid waiver residents. My good friend Lynne Katzman, the CEO of Juniper Communities, said the (5 points I made) about our message were all good, but that I forgot the most import of all.  

She was so so right. So here is number 6 and it is likely the most important of all the messaging we can do . . . 

6. We are not the problem, we are the solution to the healthcare crisis in the United States 

We jumped on a quick video conference to talk about it and you can watch that conversation at the end of the article but here are the highlights:

  • The problem of counteracting the negative publicity is very difficult because much of the negative messaging is rooted in societal views on aging.

  • Senior Living can be The Solution to the huge societal problem of what to do about the high cost of healthcare for mostly older individuals who have chronic illness and functional impairment. Here is what the scope of the problem looks like. Roughly 5% of the population uses 50% of our healthcare resources. As the Boomers age, this will become an increasingly expensive and logistical problem.

  • Juniper created a program called Connected Living, which starts with service-enriched housing that is coupled with a program to manage chronic care needs. This allows them to provide primary care services along with other services depending on residents needs.

    What this program of housing and services has done is create higher quality lives for residents and prevent issues that can quickly get out of control at home — issues that hurt seniors and cost massive amounts of money.

  • Upon review of what they are doing, they discovered impressive results:

    • 80% reduction in readmission

    • 50% reduction in hospitalizations

This all translates into a societal savings of an astonishing $15 billion dollars per year!

The Big Challenge

Lynne is one of the brightest folks in our industry. She is constantly pushing the boundaries of “what can be done”. So looking at what she and her team at Juniper are doing can seem a bit overwhelming. Yet, she is convinced that it is replicable and they are working on some ideas to help the industry become The Solution.

And that could be the most compelling message of all.  

Here is the interview: