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Senior Living Spotlight: What is Value-Based Care?

The landscape of senior living is evolving rapidly, driven by innovations in healthcare, value-based care models, and a strong commitment to enhancing the quality of life for seniors.

The latest episode of PointClickCare’s podcast, Collision Point, joins together our own Murry Mercier, Senior Living Market Director, and Dr. Steve Buslovich, Vice President of Senior Care Value-Based Care, with Stephanie Boreale, National Director of Health Strategy at Watermark Retirement Communities. They explore all things value-based care in senior living: what it is, who benefits, and why the evolution of value-based health is steadily moving from philosophy to reality.

How Is Senior Living Defined Today?

Traditionally, the concept of senior living often conjured images of nursing homes. However, today’s senior living is far more dynamic, with a focus on holistic wellness and empowering seniors to live life to the fullest. Boreale, with her extensive background in healthcare administration, highlighted the transformative nature of senior living: “I think I was drawn to Watermark Retirement Communities because the two founders believe in creating innovative and extraordinary communities where people thrive. That means their associates as well as the residents.”

Senior living extends beyond providing housing; it encompasses diverse elements such as dining experiences, engagement, movement, and amenities that contribute to a vibrant and fulfilling lifestyle.

The Journey to Value-Based Care

Value-based care, a transformative approach to healthcare delivery, has gained significant momentum in recent years. Buslovich highlighted a crucial trend: by 2030, every Medicare and Medicaid member will have to participate in some form of value-based care arrangement, which will lead to dramatic changes in care delivery. This shift is essential for senior living organizations to consider as they adapt to evolving healthcare needs.

Value-based care places the individual at the center of healthcare delivery, prioritizing outcomes unlike traditional fee-for-service models. This will be essential to managing the rising costs of care while improving the quality of life for seniors.

What Is the Role of Risk-Bearing Entities?

According to Buslovich, “When we think of a risk-bearing entity, what we generally refer to is an organization that is taking financial risk and is really focused on the medical expenditure of an individual resident over the course of a year.”

He goes on to describe how this financial risk-sharing model encourages providers to create innovative care models, emphasizing patient-centered care that aligns with individual preferences. “Your job now is to create a new model of care that is really designed around figuring out how to care for the individual and the lower cost of care that is the preference of the individual.”

The Benefits of Value-Based Care in Senior Living

Value-based care in senior living is about creating a person-centered approach to clinical care. This approach fosters collaboration between senior living operators, care providers, and interdisciplinary care teams. This enables care to be delivered in the comfort of an individual’s residence, which is often their preference. “What we’re finding is the expectations of individuals are increasing, where they are demanding more care and better care coordination to be provided for them in a much more convenient methodology,” Mercier shared.

Residents who engage in value-based care experience higher well-being scores across mind, body, spirit, and community dimensions. Watermark Retirement Communities, for example, has embraced value-based care through its innovative program, 360Well. This program integrates an onsite medical clinic with a medical concierge, facilitating collaboration with various providers and addressing not only clinical needs but also holistic well-being. “We’re seeing higher scores across the board in those communities that have the 360Well program embedded compared to those that do not,” Boreale explained.

Challenges and the Importance of Data

Buslovich also addressed the early challenges in transitioning to value-based care: “Not everybody has access to that data, not everybody has the resources to collect that information, and so that’s where I’m fairly excited about the ability to use technology to automate some of that data collection and [other] processes.”

Data plays a crucial role in demonstrating the outcomes provided through value-based care and the potential for technology to streamline this process.

The Future of Senior Living and Value-Based Care

The future of senior living is promising, with value-based care paving the way for better outcomes and enhanced quality of life. “Value-based care is really exciting. It’s the only mechanism where, if an organization is able to manage a high-risk population and provide better outcomes, they can actually get reimbursed more favorably,” said Mercier.

It’s clear that value-based care is transforming the senior living landscape, offering a new era of personalized, outcome-driven care that aligns with residents’ desires for a fulfilling and active lifestyle in their golden years. The journey toward holistic wellness and patient-centered care is underway, promising a brighter future for seniors and their families.

To learn more, listen to the full podcast episode on Collision Point, PointClickCare’s podcast.

October 10, 2023