Harvard Study Examines Senior Living’s Role in Changing Health Care System
Individuals in senior living communities require an array of health and supportive services to maintain an optimum quality of life. Often, these older adults receive fragmented care through multiple providers and payers, resulting in unnecessary health care expenditures and lower quality-of-care. To address these challenges, Brookdale is partnering with researchers at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and other senior living industry peers to establish the Assisted Living Sector Healthcare Policy Research Fund.
“This support allows us to examine what role senior living providers have in the new models of care that have emerged under health care reform,” says David Grabowski, PhD, professor of health care policy at HMS, who is leading this research study.
Grabowski and his team will examine whether providing more comprehensive, coordinated services in the senior living sector reduces the need for Medicare-paid services and Medicaid-financed nursing home services.
According to Will Clark, Brookdale’s senior vice president of strategy and brand and a member of the HMS Health Care Policy Advisory Council, society’s ability to meet the needs of an aging population is an important political, economic, clinical, and social imperative.
“Harvard’s reputation for tackling some of health care’s biggest challenges and generating meaningful insights that shape our nation’s policy is unparalleled. We are confident Dr. Grabowski and his colleagues’ research will be influential in determining the appropriate role senior living can and should play in our evolving health care system,” Clark said.
Brookdale’s goals for this effort are to create awareness for the potential senior living has to positively impact the health, well-being and overall cost of care for seniors; to identify barriers to creating more integration among senior living and the health care system; influence policy; and identify innovative models that integrate senior living with our health care system.
The initiative is funded through a cumulative contribution of $150,000 from Brookdale and eight other senior living providers — Atria Senior Living, Elmcroft Senior Living, Emeritus Senior Living, Erickson Living, HCP, Inc., Health Care REIT, Inc., Sunrise Senior Living, and Ventas, Inc. Together, these organizations hope to begin a dialogue among health care providers, policy makers, regulators, and consumers on the value of senior living and its role in creating an integrated, outcomes-driven health care system.
The study will occur in two phases. The first phase will consist of analyzing the role of assisted living in new payment-delivery models and presenting a conceptual model of how an integrated model might work, as well as the opportunities and challenges associated with such an approach. Building on the results of the first phase, the second phase of the project will consist of primary data work and potentially the development of a pilot program.