Five Healthcare Trends That Will Impact Senior Living

The Affordable Care Act is causing a sea change in the healthcare industry at large, and several emerging trends are expected to impact the long-term care industry as well, including a movement toward in-home services. 

Five trends in particular are worth noting, Senator Bill Frist, the keynote speaker for the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry’s upcoming regional conference, told NIC in an exclusive interview.

“There is a definite rise in government sponsored healthcare,” Frist told NIC ahead of his speech he’ll give during a networking lunch at the regional conference this month on how the healthcare industry has transformed. “The implication for companies working in senior living is that they will be forced to comply with the government regulations that come with the government money.”

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One aspect of the ACA that’s expected to impact the healthcare industry is the move toward value-based healthcare. This will lead to restructuring payment models, bundling care, and requirement outcomes evaluation, Frist said. 

“Specifically, accountability for outcomes and a correlation with the cost of care will be a massive cultural change in medicine,” he said.

As healthcare systems develop data systems and analytics to identify patients at risk for hospital readmission in an effort to cut down on unnecessary rehospitalizations, the assisted living industry will also have to pay more attention to this data, Frist said. 

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There’s also a rise in the “patient-consumer”—a shift away from what Frist called the paternalism of medicine to a model that empowers patients and allows them to shop around. “The rise of consumerism imparts a need for branding in healthcare that we have not before seen,” he said.

Technology plays a role in emerging trends, too, and Frist said he sees a forthcoming “era of innovation” that encompasses “not just [electronic medical records] and new gadgets, but an influx of actual disruptive technology that will revolutionize not just the way we record healthcare data, but also the way we actually deliver care.”

The final trend could have huge implications for the senior living industry.

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“There is an overall movement towards home as the locus of care. And this will redefine the post-acute care space,” Frist said. “This is certainly a trend that is most impactful for the senior living and long term care industry and potentially disruptive. But I see it as an opportunity: an opportunity for innovative business models that will improve the overall quality of life of our seniors.”

Read the rest of Frist’s interview with NIC. 

Written by Alyssa Gerace