Selling Baby Boomers on Value Based Care: What Senior Housing Execs Must Know

Value based care is fast approaching prime time. Experts agree: senior living spaces will need to meet specific criteria to be included in value based reimbursement models, including accountable care organizations (ACOs).

Part of the way federal incentives are awarded within an ACO is based upon customer satisfaction. Residents grade a senior living space; the higher the rating, the more monetary incentives a senior living space receives. With lower ratings, senior living spaces may face penalties.

What a senior living organization offers by way of dining experience and extras will attract higher ratings from Baby Boomers, who will soon be swelling their ranks. In turn, a senior living organization’s good ratings will attract ACOs, which will allow a senior living organization to share in the savings accrued by this new model. It’s a win-win-win all the way around.

According to the Washington Post, 76 million Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 are currently retiring at the rate of roughly 11,000 people a day. Granted, most baby boomers are not ready to move into a senior living community immediately upon retiring. But eventually, they will need the help that a senior living community can provide, and their expectations of service and care will be high.

An article in Reader’s Digest suggests that Boomers want modern living spaces, amenities, wifi access, and more. Providing such amenities on top of containing rising healthcare costs is going to take almost as much of a social revolution as Boomers engaged in when they were young.

The good news is that revolution is nearly here. Senior living is beginning to be recognized as part of the continuum of healthcare, and as a result, it will be included in reimbursement policy changes. Senior living communities are beginning to be included into some ACOs, and they will become part of bundled payment methods and other value based models on the horizon.

Though there is much work to be done to make this transition, many view it in a positive light. “Despite much of the gloominess surrounding the aging of the boomer generation, there are reasons to be optimistic,” according to an article published in Hospitals and Health Networks magazine. “The development of new care models combined with advances in technology could save the system billions even as baby boomers pour into Medicare and live longer.”

So how does one sell the Baby Boomers on value based healthcare? It won’t take much, in most circumstances, because many of them are already on board. They want a new kind of senior living experience and it is one that will require a whole new way of providing senior care and paying for it. It will require all the aspects of value based care, which include a focus on accident prevention; the use of technology to prevent hospitalization; and senior participation in their own care. As one executive put it, in order to stay alive in this new payment model, senior care executives are going to have to change along with it, or be left by the wayside.

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