How Post-Acute Care is Redefining the Role of Senior Living

For senior living providers who want to be in the business of forming post-acute care partnerships, they’ll have to abandon certain conventional wisdom and re-examine how they present their organizations to their potential partners.

To play in the post-acute care partnership game, senior living providers have to address three criteria: quicker, sicker and the ticker, says Clint Maun, a certified speaking professional with Maun-Lemke Speaking and Consulting.

Providers have to be quicker in how they take in and care for a sicker, high acuity population, while also minding the “ticker” of how efficiently they can help their partners, such as hospitals, move patients through the system, Maun said Tuesday during the 2014 LeadingAge Conference & Expo in Nashville, Tenn.

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“The game is changing. If you can’t do these three, then you’re not even in the game,” he said.

Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Maun’s company consults with various healthcare providers and senior living organizations to help them strengthen areas of their businesses and compete in the changing environment.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, he urges that the secret to any partnership has less to do with what a senior living organization has done and more about what the company could do for a partner like a hospital.

“If you can walk in and say that you can cut length of stay and help save X dollars, then you’re in a champion’s seat,” Maun said.

Data can also help provide some extra cushion for that seat, too. Not only does data enable providers present meaningful information to potential partners, but it also serves as a huge differentiator for organizations who can show operating metrics that apply to their prospective partners’ needs.

“Data by disease, outcome and success—that’s what people want,” Maun said. “Organizations can get partnerships when they talk about their [partners’] needs, and you’re using your data to do it.”

When trying to partner with a hospital, Maun indicated such meaningful information could be the number of people a senior living organization cares for, what conditions they have, success rates, how many residents have had wounds healed recently, or other metrics that might be of importance.

“Data makes a difference. You need to have data and you need to take that data to the partnerships,” Maun said.

In today’s evolving healthcare ecosystem, senior living cannot afford to be a rock, or an organization isolated from other providers trying to achieve similar goals, Maun said, emphasizing that those companies who want to form partnership must be willing to take on some risk, be it financial or clinical.

“If you don’t want partnerships, then you’re going to be some independent prairie maverick that’s sitting around hoping to get business,” Maun said. “If we call this conference ‘redefining aging,’ then we have to redefine our products and services.”

Written by Jason Oliva

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