Resident Retention and Medicare: What Senior Living Operators Must Know

It only makes sense. When someone is happy, they tend to want that happiness to last. In the same way, seniors who are happy with the quality of care and quality of life afforded them through their senior care community are likely to stay put.

A simple formula goes like this: enhance quality of life and high occupancy rate retention will follow. Add to that the absolute necessity of meeting federal senior care quality standards to reap Medicare reimbursement, and there is added incentive to focus on quality of life.

How to retain residents through improved quality of life

But just how is quality of life enhanced in the senior setting? It is done in a number of key ways, with a number of key tools, including:

The Internet. A strong bandwidth, fast network speed and strong IT infrastructure supports quality of life by affording seniors the ability to use the internet for social engagement with family and the world outside of the senior living home. This is critical to mental health and ultimately to physical health, by increasing resident satisfaction.

Remote monitoring. Remote monitoring can increase occupancy rates in a number of ways. The use of remote monitoring, including fall alerts, artificial intelligence and vital sign monitoring frees up some time for caregivers to give that added personal touch to care, in addition to boosting the quality of care by preventing falls, hospitalizations and other health problems.

Health IT. The use of electronic health records and other health IT is not only essential to the improvement of quality of care. EHRs provide the data necessary for analyzing trends in care to find evidence-based best practices. Care can be improved through measurement and its accompanying knowledge.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is keenly focused on quality measures, not only for improvement in care, but for providing transparency in care quality to potential senior care consumers. Meeting CMS quality of care measures is essential to ensure reimbursement and to attracting and retaining a very market-savvy Baby Boomer senior population.

Maintaining and increasing resident occupancy rates is challenging, even for the best senior care communities. Focusing on quality of life can help senior care executives meet business and mission objectives by nurturing resident health and happiness and by meeting federal quality measures for Medicare reimbursement.

In the end, isn’t happiness the goal? Today’s technological advances are pivotal in moving senior care forward toward the ultimate in quality of life. Quality of life makes for happy residents, and happy residents don’t want to leave.

How has your organization used IT to improve quality of life at your organization?

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