New data show that seniors housing developments that include an integrated care approach, such as deploying health care services like primary care and nurse practitioners, can reduce costly emergency room (ER) visits and inpatient hospital stays.

The research from ATI Advisory—released at the 2020 National Investment Center (NIC) for Seniors Housing and Care Spring Conference—compared an assisted living community that incorporates health care services with communities that do not provide health care. From this comparison, ATI found hospital usage rates declined by more than 50 percent in the integrated care model.

The actual statistics found that ER visits for the assisted living community without integrated care ran at a rate of 1.34 visits per person, per year. The integrated model, however, had a rate of 0.52 visits per person, per year.

“The data reveal a tremendous opportunity to reduce hospital-based health care services that put seniors’ health at risk and drive costs upward,” said Anne Tumlinson, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of ATI Advisory.

“Putting housing and health care under the same roof promises better coordination and results,” she said.

The researchers found that incorporating a nurse practitioner and case manager into a senior living facility’s operation can reduce the number of inpatient hospital admissions from 430 admissions to 300 admissions per 1,000 residents.

“This is a powerful message for the seniors housing community. If you aren’t considering how to engage insurers and hospital systems to integrate health care services into your housing model, owners and operators forgo an opportunity to improve care outcomes,” said Brian Jurutka, NIC president and CEO.

“Owners and operators need to take steps that support the improvements in health and health care spending that patients, taxpayers, and governments continue to demand,” he said.