Experts: Sector on rebound, managed care growth likely

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Panel: SNF care will become more of a value proposition
Panel: SNF care will become more of a value proposition

Seniors housing continues a comeback, but operators need to be prepared for the expanding role of managed care, experts said during the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry annual conference in Chicago in mid-September.  

Seniors housing and care properties fared better than commercial real estate holdings during 2008 and 2009, noted NIC director of research and analysis Charles W. Harry Jr. 

“We are the only sector during the Great Recession not to go negative,” Harry said. “Seniors housing was recession-resilient.” The result has been expanded interest in the sector by institutional and other outside investors, NIC officials noted.  

“We never saw negative rent growth,” pointed out NIC President and CEO Robert Kramer in an interview with McKnight's.

But operators have to move toward thinking about managed care rather than a fee-for-service model, advised Avalere Health CEO Dan Mendelson, the moderator for a session on managed care and SNFs. 

Nineteen states will expand enrollment in managed care plans between 2012 and 2014, as states tend to like that capitated contracts improve budget predictability. Twenty states will seek managed care plans for dual-eligibles.

“Quality measurements are transforming the way healthcare plans think,” and providers have to be able to provide data, Mendelson said.

Skilled nursing facilities have an excellent opportunity to show they are the best at post-acute care, emphasized panel member James Gomez, CEO and president of the California Association of Health Facilities. 

“If you don't know your rehospitalization rate and that of all the other facilities in your ZIP code, get the hell out of the business,” he said. 

The 120-page second edition of the “NIC Investment Guide” also was released at the meeting.

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