Healthcare Business News

Ascension creates senior-care division

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: August 2, 2014 - 12:01 am ET

To deepen its footprint in the post-acute-care sector, Ascension Health has formed a senior-care division to integrate its extensive post-acute-care services and establish more uniform care standards.

The new division represents a restructuring of the St. Louis-based healthcare provider's existing senior-care services, which will include its independent-living, assisted-living and skilled-nursing facilities, under the name Ascension Health Senior Care.

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The new division also will include its Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, a care-coordination initiative covered by Medicare and Medicaid for adults age 55 and older. PACE participants receive community-based, coordinated care from a team that provides prescription-drug coverage, physician care, transportation, home care, checkups, hospitals visits and nursing home stays.

Overall, the move is expected to make Ascension Health the second-largest not-for-profit, long-term-care operator in the country, with more than 5,500 senior-care beds. Its three PACE programs have 725 dual-eligible enrollees.

Ascension, a Roman-Catholic provider that is the nation's largest private not-for-profit health system, has 34 senior-care facilities across the country.

“It is essentially a reorganization of our existing senior services and programs that are around the country, typically located in our local ministries,” Robert Henkel, CEO of Ascension Health, said. “What we're doing is bringing them all together to operate together as a focus on patient-centered care for seniors, and to take advantage of our best practices, our knowledge and our experience in this particular area on a national scale.”

Formed in 1999, Ascension Health has 131 hospitals and 1,900 care sites across 23 states and the District of Columbia. —Steven Ross Johnson

Follow Steven Ross Johnson on Twitter: @MHsjohnson

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