Disruption as innovation: report encourages skilled nursing to capitalize on trends

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Skilled nursing providers should capitalize on larger senior living trends — including emerging technologies, business partnerships and recruitment strategies — to ensure their share of the marketplace moving forward, finds a new white paper published by CliftonLarsonAllen.

“We see tremendous potential for disruption within the current senior living environment as the impending pace of change becomes overwhelming to those who are unprepared,” wrote authors Mario Mckenzie and Cathy Schweiger. “In response to this risk of disruption, we are asking senior living organizations this simple question: What business are you really in?”

Long-term sustainability, according to the paper published online last week, will come through a range of strategic resources — be it financial assets, human capital or joining forces with other affiliates or related services that can help enhance market position.

“The significant growth in the ‘longevity economy' … will attract capital investment, innovation and investment opportunities,” the report said. That means drawing new companies with an eye for entrepreneurial activity.

But the professional services firm reports senior living options without nursing level care appeal to consumers who believe their needs can be met without dedicated skilled nursing or believe that time spent in nursing care will be minimal.

That means assisted living operators are embracing the combination of lifestyle and higher acuity care for strong growth in their specialty programs.

But that's not necessarily bad news for SNFs. They just need to reconsider what consumers want now and in the years ahead, finding ways to reach beyond their walls and develop supports for those who value independence, the authors wrote.