Senior Vice President of Business Development
StoneGate Senior Living
The statistics are staggering. Projections show that by 2050:
- The U.S. population aged 65 and over will surge to 7 million, more than 20 percent of the population and almost double today’s numbers.
- Those aged 85 and over will account for 4.5 percent of Americans, up from 2.5 percent in 2030.
- 58 percent of the nation’s Baby Boomers are expected to need long-term care as they move into their senior years.
This trend poses significant cost and delivery challenges for an already overstressed healthcare system.
How the industry is meeting the challenge
Government and commercial payers are looking for ways to tackle the healthcare needs of the senior population, while controlling costs. One solution is alternative payment models, such as the bundled payment program. It reimburses healthcare providers for value, not volume, of services provided. Through this model, providers receive a single payment from a payer that covers all services needed to treat a patient for an “episode of care,” such as a knee or hip replacement. This incents all members of the care continuum to work together in serving patients seamlessly, better managing care while closing gaps.
How bundled payments can benefit Boomers
With big changes in place for payment models, acute care and post-acute care (PAC) providers are tasked to deliver quality and cost-efficient care. Seniors transitioning from one care setting to another, such as a hospital to a short-term rehabilitation facility, can expect more coordinated care, increased attention to follow-up needs, and reduced chances of returning to the hospital.
How seniors and their families can make smart choices
Savvy consumers can look to national industry organizations to understand their options, and to ensure key quality standards are met. The National Quality Award Program, presented by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, recognizes long-term and post-acute care providers that strive for improved quality care. Medicare offers a Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers find the best skilled nursing facilities.
Angela Norris is Senior Vice President for StoneGate Senior Living LLC, an award-winning full-spectrum senior care and housing company. She has experience in nursing, payments and more, and previously served as Vice President of an accountable-care organization for the aged, blind and disabled.