CCRCs ‘Without Walls’ to Surge, Adding New Opportunity

One-third of nonprofit continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) that do not already have a continuing care at home (CCaH) program are considering offering one within the next two years, preliminary results from a soon-to-be published report show.

Those results bolster past research that show a rapidly growing number of organizations are offering CCaH program services.

CCaH models, referred to by some in the industry as CCRCs without walls, are expected to double throughout the country by the end of 2015, specialty investment bank Ziegler reports, citing past research from CliftonLarsonAllen LLP.


The model isn’t exactly new, as the first one debuted in the 1980s, but the program is growing in popularity amongst the states that support it.

“Through the end of 2014, it is anticipated that there will be 20 operating CCaH models, with nearly all of them up and down the East Coast and throughout the Midwest,” Ziegler says, adding that the prevalence of CCaH programs is not only driven by provider and consumer demand, but on the statewide regulatory environment.

Lisa McCracken, senior vice president of senior living research and development at Ziegler, tells SHN that benefits of a CCaH model include “diversification of services and an additional way to expand an organization’s mission beyond bricks and mortar.


“For some programs, particularly those who offer access to on-campus facilities and programs, it has actually been a feeder for residents moving into the CCRC.”

CCaH models, unlike CCRC models, allow seniors to stay in their home. However, in many ways the CCaH model also mimics the CCRC model, such as by offering a continuum of care and charging an entrance fee — although usually much less than CCRC fees.

McCracken points to the upcoming supply of aging baby boomers, and their shared interest in staying in their homes for as long as possible, as evidence of demand for the CCaH model.

“This allows them to invest in their future without making a significant move at this point in their lives,” she says.

And while CCaH models may have core similarities amongst each other, each model also features unique attributes, such as incorporating new technologies or emphasizing lifestyle and wellness services.

The report notes that advances in technology have made remote care coordination possible.

“Additionally, there are several programs throughout the country that mimic CCaH contracts, but are hybrids between full care at home and living in a bricks-and-mortar CCRC,” McCracken says in the report

Ziegler is in the process of analyzing the results for its 2014 publication of the LeadingAge Ziegler 100 report, from which McCracken shared preliminary data. 

The study can be accessed here.

Written by Cassandra Dowell


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