Brian Jurutka leads the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC), a mission-based nonprofit that informs and convenes senior executives across America’s senior housing and skilled nursing sectors. As healthcare organizations pursue the Triple Aim, addressing medical and non-medical needs of frail elders with multiple chronic conditions is critical. NIC provides the only forum designed for healthcare and senior housing leaders to explore challenges—and opportunities—together.
Exploring the Convergence of Healthcare and Senior Housing
NIC provides forums for networking, idea sharing and thought leadership
BJ: Hospital systems and health plans increasingly participate in collaborations to improve health status by addressing social and other factors that help determine it. Housing is particularly attractive as healthcare becomes less institutionally based and more home and community focused. Partnerships with the senior housing sector are increasingly seen as real opportunities to care for frail elders, most of whom have multiple chronic conditions, wherever they call home. It greatly improves quality and makes it easier to coordinate care, which cuts costs. And patient satisfaction is high.
Rapidly changing demographics point to a significant market for healthcare-senior housing collaborations. As Baby Boomers age, the senior population will grow from 20 million in 2014 to 33.6 million in 2029. A study NIC conducted with NORC at the University of Chicago uncovers a particularly sharp rise in middle-income, 75+ seniors, who will nearly double to 14.4 million within a decade. For those over the age of 85, one-in-three will be “high needs,” with three or more chronic conditions and one or more limitations in activities of daily living. More seniors in need of housing and care—especially more middle-income seniors—means more opportunities to partner in support of better outcomes.
The definition of healthcare is expanding beyond traditional clinical outcomes to include social determinants of health and a move towards caring for people in outpatient settings, including their homes. This change is driving public policy changes, like Medicare Advantage’s decision to begin covering non-medical services, such as devices that can prevent falls, and the continued push toward outcomes-based measurement. The time for healthcare organizations to join conversations shaping the senior housing sector’s future, home to millions of America’s frail elders, is now.
BJ: I think healthcare executives recognize senior housing as an efficient means to serve a population that has the potential for high healthcare usage. There is also recognition that success in a value-based environment takes multi-sector collaborations. NIC recently brought a group of 50 healthcare and senior housing executives together to discuss collaborations. There was consensus around the tremendous opportunity to reduce costs for expensive populations, and a shared understanding that doing so requires addressing individual behavior and social determinants like housing.
There also was recognition that partnerships between healthcare and senior housing are just getting underway. Naturally, there are misunderstandings and barriers to realizing the full promise of collaboration, but one of the keys to future partnerships is building relationships and mutual understanding now.
BJ: As the leading national organization promoting choice in senior housing and care for America’s elders, NIC offers hospital and health plan executives opportunities to attend best-in-class conferences, where they can learn about the senior housing industry and meet with senior housing executives to build relationships and discuss current and potential partnerships. Each conference is an opportunity to learn from those leading the way with innovative ideas. Healthcare organizations also gain an understanding of the latest trends in senior housing and begin to appreciate how adding healthcare services can add greater value. They also gain access to NIC executives who can accelerate networking within the senior housing sector.
BJ: NIC’s next conference will be held March 4-6 in San Diego, California. It presents healthcare organizations with the latest thinking on where the senior housing sector is heading and how healthcare can partner in a changing landscape. Learn more and register at: www.nicevent.org.
To learn more about NIC, visit nic.org/modern.