Heard at NIC: The Top 10 Buzzwords in Senior Housing

The biggest names in senior living converged at this year’s National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC) conference in Chicago.

While the panels’ topics varied as widely as the operators, developers, REITs and third-party vendors who attended, a few key subjects permeated many of the senior living sessions.

SHN compiled the following list of top-10 buzzwords we found most referenced by execs in the industry.

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1. Demographics
“Even through the global financial crisis, research shows senior housing held up relatively well compared to other sectors in the U.S. housing space. People usually land on compelling demographics, but there’s been a modest amount of new supply to meet that demand.”

— Dennis Martin, Managing Director, Head of U.S. Business Development, Prudential Real Estate Investors, NIC Session: “The (New) Face of Seniors Housing Private Equity”

2. Capital
“Transaction volume of 2014-15 is going to exceed the transaction volume of the last 12 months. With so much capital coming into the space we fully expect to see more growth and more new development. We’re seeing regional banks, big banks, REITs, new private equity and [more sources] entering the market.”

— Beth Mace, Chief Economist and Director of Capital Markets Outreach for NIC, NIC Data Briefing

3. Development
“It is easier than it was a few years ago to get development capital. It’s a neighborhood business. You have to be careful where you’re developing and who else is developing near you because it is a local business.”

— Carl Mittendorf, Chief Investment Officer, The Freshwater Group, NIC Session: “The (New) Face of Seniors Housing Private Equity”

4. Innovation
“There will be a whole lot of subtle innovations that will add up, as the industry deals with costs across the board and changing demographics. There’s going to be a lot of experimenting and the tech world is great at it. They don’t need the next big thing, just a little tweak that gets the energy going.”

— Lauralee Martin, President and CEO of HCP, Inc. (NYSE: HCP), NIC Session: “Hail to the REITs: REIT CEOs Talk Big Growth Amid Big Changes”

5. Short-Term Stay
“In any given marketplace, long-term care is only capturing 25% to 30% of the actual discharges that qualify for a skilled nursing stay. The real opportunity is in the other 70% to 75% that you can capture as part of a short-term stay.”

— Zeke Turner, CEO, Mainstreet, NIC Session: “Seniors Housing Development 2.0: The Places, Products and Partners”

6. Relationships
“Our partners make us best in class because we think they are best in class. We think a lot about same-store growth — that’s driven by our operators — and we spend a lot of time trying to be good stewards of investment capital. But, it’s also the portfolio and the relationships we have that I would put at the top of my list as to what differentiates Health Care REIT.”

— Mercedes Kerr, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Health Care REIT (NYSE: HCN), NIC Session: “Hail to the REITs: REIT CEOs Talk Big Growth Amid Big Changes”

7. Payment Models
“What’s keeping me up at night is that now there is a third area — not just [Capitol] Hill or CMS — for enormous risk and opportunity, which is changed payment models. I worry more about changed payment models than the Hill and CMS. If they don’t develop in a way that’s beneficial to our residents … the sector could get hit really badly.”

— Mark Parkinson, President, AHCA/NCAL, NIC Session: “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: Who Decides the Business Model for Long-Term and Post-Acute Care?”

8. Accountable Care Organization
“Properties that have been well established and enjoy a popularity [in the community] are being selected out [for inclusion in an ACO model]. So, the business model associated with that building is turned on its ear. If the formation of an ACO is reliant on a four-to five-star building and you only have a three-star building, then that facility is out of the game.”

— Ray Thivierge, Executive Vice President – West, Genesis HealthCare, NIC Session: “A Primer on Determining Quality in the Skilled Nursing Property”

9. Readmission Rates
“We look at readmission rates because herein lies the opportunity. Whenever we see trends of readmits we look at the skilled nursing facilities that are doing those readmits to see if we can leverage [our services to fill a need].”

— Gaurie Rodman, Director of Development Services, Direct Supply Aptura, NIC Session: “Market Feasibility Analysis and Sizing Up a Market”

10. Quality
“Quality is in the eye of the stakeholder. When you look at skilled nursing, the stakeholders are: federal, CMS — the primary payor for skilled nursing; the state and personal care assistance; managed care/insurance; hospitals and doctors; the community; direct customers; and peers.”

— Mary Tess Crotty, Vice President of Quality, Genesis HealthCare, NIC Session: “A Primer on Determining Quality in the Skilled Nursing Property”

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