Senior Living Providers Test Waters With “Critical” New Service Lines

Senior living providers are looking for ways to drive revenue by diversifying their business lines and capabilities, in line with ancillary services accommodation being named as a top trend in senior living design for 2013 by the Building, Design & Construction Network.

Brookdale reported growing revenues from its ancillary services programs during the third quarter of 2012, although its $11 million fourth quarter revenue from these programs was slightly down from the previous year.

The senior living provider also has an ongoing Program Max initiative that invests capital back into the portfolio to expand, reposition, upgrade units, renovate common spaces, and convert units to reflect demand for levels of care. 

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“We still believe that ancillary services remain both a critical set of services for our residents and, therefore, a key Brookdale differentiator as well as a solid incremental financial opportunity,” said Mark Ohlendorf, Brookdale’s CFO, during a conference call with investors. 

Retirement and healthcare center remodeler Robycross recently completed a project to renovate nine therapy clinics at Brookdale communities as part of an overarching initiative that began about five years ago and has added or renovated about 45 Innovative Senior Care therapy clinics at Brookdale communities in North Carolina and Virginia. 

In this latest project, nine clinics were added to eight Brookdale locations in North Carolina, two of which are under the senior living provider’s Clare Bridge memory care brand. Half of the recent spaces had already been used for therapy, while the other half were converted for therapy use, according to Robycross. 

The Innovative Senior Care therapy clinics are meant to help “minimize the effects of aging by promoting functional independence, improving overall health, and providing techniques for preventing pain and disability” by providing traditional therapy as well as “less conventional, but highly beneficial means of rehabilitation,” says Robycross, including massage therapy, chair yoga and Tai Chi.

“We know that in our communities alone there are thousands of residents receiving these services from third-party providers today that we can replace,” said Andy Smith, Brookdale’s new CEO. “We also believe that we can grow through strategic and tactical acquisitions in a fragmented industry that is experiencing increasing consolidation pressures.”

Other healthcare providers are implementing innovative ways to drive revenue as well, such as leasing available space to third-party service providers.

The Ashtabula County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center recently opened the DaVita Center, which will provide dialysis services to both residents and non-residents through a third-party dialysis company that’s leasing space from the county, according to a Star Beacon article

Generations Healthcare, which manages the nursing home for the county, hopes the center will generate revenue both through the lease and as a marketing tool for the facility. 

“So many residents who live in other nursing homes have to travel to dialysis in a van,” said Maureen Wern, of Wern & Associates, in the article. 

Developing multi-use and multi-generational spaces is another strategy, and one that’s been employed at the TowerLight on Wooddale Senior Living complex, a senior community in St. Louis Park with  a $1 million child care center

The 65,000-square-foot TowerLight Childcare center is located on the main floor of the 113-unit senior living community, and senior residents can engage with children for singing, reading, and one-on-one visits. 

More strategies include offering adult day health services or providing third-party therapy services on-site

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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