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Fourth Quarter 2020 Sees Record Low Occupancy for Senior Housing<p>Senior housing occupancy decreased 1.3 percentage points in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 80.7 percent, a record low, according to new data from NIC MAP® Data Service (NIC MAP) provided by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing &amp; Care (NIC).</p><p>Since the first quarter of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began, occupancy fell by 6.8 percentage points.</p><p>“Senior housing occupancy declines were less pronounced in the fourth quarter than the previous two quarters, though the fourth quarter decline is still quite large from a historic perspective,” said NIC’s chief economist, Beth Burnham Mace. “The surge in COVID-19 cases following Thanksgiving and Christmas suggests further disruption lies ahead. That said, the recent distribution of the vaccines should soon provide some relief.”</p><p>NIC data show large disparities between occupancy rates across metropolitan markets. For instance, San Jose, Calif. (88.5 percent), San Francisco (86.9 percent), and Seattle (84.8 percent) had the highest occupancy rates of the 31 metropolitan markets that make up NIC MAP’s Primary Markets, while Houston (73.5 percent), Cleveland (76.6 percent), and Miami (76.7 percent) recorded the lowest.</p><p>NIC said assisted living occupancy fell 1.3 percentage points to 77.7 percent in the fourth quarter, and independent living occupancy dropped 1.4 percentage points to 83.5 percent. Since March, assisted living and independent living occupancy have fallen by 7.4 and 6.2 percentage points, respectively.</p><p>“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted move-ins and move-outs across senior living properties,” said Chuck Harry, chief operating officer of NIC. “Move-ins slowed as operators enacted moratoriums to keep residents safe and as safety protocols limited new leasing activity, while move-outs have been affected as residents moved to higher-acuity care settings.”</p><p>Separately, inventory growth slowed sharply for assisted living with 1,626 units added in the Primary Markets, the fewest since the third quarter of 2013.</p><p><a href="https&#58;//info.nic.org/nic-map-4q20-market-fundamentals">Click here </a>for the Market Fundamentals report.</p>2021-01-14T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/0920_News1.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Patrick ConnoleNIC data show large disparities between occupancy rates across metropolitan markets.
Telehealth a Silver Lining in Pandemic<p><span></span>Since the pandemic began, telehealth services—specifically meeting with physicians online—have been a time saver for&#160;one Massachusetts provider.&#160;In &quot;The Telehealth Phenomenon,&quot; learn how providers have made changes to protect residents and keep care running smoothly, learning lessons and seeing benefits along the way.&#160;To read more, go to <em>Provider's </em>just<em> </em>released first digital issue <a href="https&#58;//pagepro.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?m=63330&amp;i=687740&amp;p=1">here.</a></p><p></p>2021-01-12T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Monthly-Issue/2021/January/PublishingImages/telehealth-0121.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />COVID-19;CaregivingAmy MendozaIn its first ever digital issue, Provider reports on how COVID-19 has changed the supply and demand of telehealth services in long term and post-acute care.
Provider-led Managed Care Continues to Attract Long Term Care Participation<p>Despite the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, long term and post-acute care providers are continuing to increase their presence in the Medicare Advantage (MA) marketplace by forming on their own or in collaborative arrangements, so-called Special Needs Plans (SNPs), which allow providers more control of the care management of residents who benefit from an increased clinical presence allowed for under such health plans.</p><p>This trend is documented in a new report commissioned by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) and written by ATI Advisory.</p><p>Findings in the report include that long term care provider-led SNPs are one of the most promising risk models to emerge from the federal push to delegate risk to providers. The report said at their best, “they combine enhanced primary care with residential long term care [LTC] to reverse the revolving door between nursing homes and assisted living and emergency rooms and inpatient hospitalizations. This is better for residents, families, and the Medicare program.”</p><p>Anne Tumlinson, founder and chief executive officer of ATI Advisory, tells Provider the market seems to be embracing these provider-led I-SNPs, which is shorthand for Institutional-Special Needs Plans. In fact, the report said LTC provider-led I-SNPs grew from 9 percent of all I-SNPs offered in 2015 to 33 percent in 2020. Follow-up analysis shows the share growing further to almost 37 percent in 2021. <br>&#160;<br>To delve into the trend, ATI studied three LTC provider-led I-SNP plans, with average membership varying from 269 to 3,086 and time-in-market varying from fewer than five years to 16 years. The plans are offered by PruittHealth, Elmbrook Home, and Senior Select Partners. </p><p>Tumlinson said at their core, the three plans worked well because the I-SNP has taken on the full financial risk for the resident members. “This creates a degree of financial alignment with delivery of care that works with families and the members,” she says.</p><p>This alignment of care is vital and includes the need for a skilled nurse practitioner (NP) to carry out the health plan’s goals of keeping residents as healthy as possible in a proactive manner.</p><p>“Being at risk for the total cost of care gives the nursing home providers the ability to invest in all of the things that they truly need to do,” Tumlinson says.</p><p>Even though the pandemic has tested this model, given the higher costs of care necessary, Jill Sumner, AHCA/NCAL vice president of population health management, says interest among LTC providers has not waned.</p><p>“There is still a lot of interest and growth. Financially, it has been very hard on plans that were hit hard by COVID, because hospitalization costs can be quite expensive and were not budgeted for,” she explains. “But we also have heard loud and clear that without this model providers would not have been able to weather this storm as well as they have from a clinical perspective.” </p><p>Among the key highlights in the report are outlines of what providers need to do to have the best chance at being successful in the I-SNP universe. These requirements, the report said, include hiring onsite health plan staff, or member advocates, to help navigate member issues with SNP benefit coverage, services, and provideSecondly, the I-SNP needs a culturally competent NP to spearhead the clinical care aspects of the health plan.</p><p>“Care management and the Model of Care are not well executed without an engaged NP who takes the time to connect with their patients to not only recognize change in status in a timely manner, but also gain trust to skill in place [take skilled care in the facility]. This means going above and beyond traditional medicine by getting to know the resident and family and understanding culturally specific attitudes and values,” the report said.</p><p>Among the critical decisions and challenges to starting and operating an I-SNP are in recruiting NPs to serve in rural areas and finding experienced member advocates, the report said.</p><p>Find the report <a href="https&#58;//atiadvisory.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/An-Idea-Thats-Growing_ATI-Advisory.pdf">here.</a></p>2021-01-11T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/Elderly%20woman%20smiling%20someone%20helping%20her%20stand%20iStock_000019827227XSmall.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />ManagementPatrick ConnoleLong term care provider-led SNPs are one of the most promising risk models to emerge from the federal push to delegate risk.
Provider Launches First Ever Digital Issue <p><em>Provider </em>today launched its first digital issue. Three timely articles center on the rise of technology innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Readers can click, tap, or swipe through and read the interactive issue right on their computer, tablet, or mobile device.</p><p>The first article, “The Telehealth Phenomenon,” follows providers’ abrupt initiation into virtual physician visits for their residents and patients and how they worked with vendor partners to establish routines that are now going smoothly.</p><p>In the next article, “Cyber Security Alert!” an expert shares all the ways criminals can worm their way into sensitive company data via phony emails. Tips are also offered for how employees can spot them.</p><p>The final article, “EMRs Assume Enhanced Role During Pandemic,” highlights a new boom in interest from providers for electronic medical records and the part they can play in safely monitoring patient care, tracking infections, and providing results quickly.</p><p>The article is the first in four digital issues planned for the year, with the remaining digital issues in February, March, and August. <br>Stay tuned throughout the month of January for more new features on Provider’s website.</p><p>Check out the new digital issue now at <a href="https&#58;//pagepro.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?m=63330&amp;i=687740&amp;p=1">https&#58;//bit.ly/3q2t6iP.</a><br></p>2021-01-08T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Monthly-Issue/2021/January/PublishingImages/0121_cover.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />TechnologyJoanne Erickson and Amy Mendoza​In a brand-new format, readers can access reports on technologies aiding providers during the pandemic.