Editor’s Picks: Five Star Meets Starwood

Spring has sprung here in Chicago—but just as exciting for us and our readers, it’s earnings season.

Among the stories to get a lot of attention this week, executives with Five Star Senior Living gave some details on a new dynamic pricing initiative during the company’s earnings call. Readers also were interested in what senior living sales tactics have the best pay-off, and how REIT activity—or inactivity, to be more precise—is constraining dealmaking.

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The Most Important Ingredients in Senior Living Sales Success—As with many recipes, time is a key ingredient when it comes to converting leads to senior living move-ins. Providers focusing too much on tours might want to rethink their approach, to maximize the quality time their sales staff is putting in with some prospects, new data shows.

Senior Housing Acquisitions Decline as REITs Bow Out—With high prices sidelining major REITs, merger and acquisition volume in senior living has dipped. But pricing remains near peak levels, at least for the moment.

Five Star Taps Starwood Expertise for New Pricing Approach—Taking a page from the hospitality industry, Massachusetts-based Five Star has already implemented dynamic pricing in dozens of communities and is planning to continue the rollout in coming months. The new pricing approach should give the major operator a leg up on the competition, executives believe.


Also in the News 

Brookdale’s New $7,000 Student Loan Reimbursement Program Aims to Bring More Nurses to Assisted Living—Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) this week began a student loan reimbursement program with the intention of attracting more nurses to work in assisted living. 

The new initiative will reimburse up to $7,000 of a newly hired Brookdale health and wellness director’s student loans, with $3,500 given after one year of successful service with the company and another $3,500 given following the second year of continued achievement.

The program complements the educational reimbursement program already in place at Brookdale, which provides tuition assistance to current associates with 12 months of continuous service for successful completion of undergraduate and graduate classes, licensing, certifications and continuing education units who agree to remain with Brookdale for one year after the reimbursement.

Combined, the programs seek to attract nurses, encourage continuing education, and reward and retain nursing talent.

CMS Publishes Final Rule on Fire Safety Requirements for Certain Health Care Facilities—The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule to update health care facilities’ fire protection guidelines, in a move to improve fire protections for all Medicare beneficiaries in facilities.

The updated guidelines apply to long-term care facilities; inpatient hospice facilities; hospitals; critical access hospitals; programs for all inclusive care for the elderly; ambulatory surgical centers; religious non-medical healthcare institutions; and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

“This final rule meets health care facilities’ desire to modernize their environments while also ensuring the necessary steps to provide patients and staff with the appropriate level of safety,” CMS Director Center for Clinical Standards and Quality Kate Goodrich said in a prepared statement. “Health care facilities can now be more home-like while ensuring that the most modern fire protection practices are in place.” 

Acts Retirement-Life Communities Refreshes its Brand Identity with New Logo, Tagline and Website—Acts Retirement-Life Communities this week rolled out a new logo, tagline and website. “The Acts organization celebrates its 45th anniversary of serving seniors this year, and we felt it was time to reinvigorate our brand with a refreshed image,” Acts CEO Mark Vanderbeck said in a prepared statement.

Acts’ new tagline, Where Loving-Kindness Lives, and its new ‘heart bursting out of the house’ logo, are meant to illustrate the company’s mission and promise to provide senior living environments and services graced with loving-kindness.

Additionally, “Acts” is no longer in all caps. The company made this change in to more closely align itself with the intent of the Acts founders, who named the organization after the Book of Acts in the Bible.

Along with the new visual identity, Acts rolled out a completely redesigned website that includes text-based and multimedia content, with faster access to information including videos, educational articles, printable guides and resident stories.

For Your Viewing Pleasure

This short video from Buzzfeed, which has been viewed more than 800,000 times, shows a fictional  portrayal of a daughter’s relationship with her mother, who has Alzheimer’s.  

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