Implementing value-based care partnerships has led to significant improvements in resident clinical outcomes, hospital readmissions and reduced costs for long-term care providers who detailed their successes during a recent webinar series. 

“We’ve found value across the board,” said Tim Nelson, executive director of Tucson, AZ-based provider Mountain View Retirement Village. “We’ve been able to retain our residents longer, give them a happier and healthier life while they’re with us, and we’ve also been able to build even stronger community partnerships with our skilled nursing facilities, hospitals and different local physician groups.” 

Nelson’s comments came Wednesday during a webinar hosted by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care on providers’ experience in value-based care models, which have been pushed by federal health officials in the past. 

Mountain View partnered with CareMore Health about three years ago to incorporate its value-based care system into its campus, according to Nelson. Since then, the community has realized a 61% drop in hospital readmissions — falling from about 16% to 6.2%. 

Nelson said the decrease is “obviously great news on the business side of things but even better on the care side of things where we know that we’re taking better care of the residents that entrust their care to us.”

He also noted that a CareMore physician is on its campus between four and five days a week. Mountain View staff also has 24/7 access to the providers’ other services for things like medication changes or for support during emergencies.

“It’s been not perfect in the way that we’ve executed everything but having the partnership with a value-based care model, such as CareMore, it really helps you build the relationship so that you can work through even the tough times and the little bumps in the road,” Nelson explained. 

Better outcomes 

Jonathan Cook, president and CEO of LifeSpire of Virginia, which operates four continuing care retirement communities in the state, said his company has used a value-based healthcare system for about the last year. 

He said it takes about five hours of a nurse’s time, which includes documentation time, for every resident readmission to the hospital. The value-based care system has  been “a win” for staff because they’re not sending residents to the hospital nearly as often as before.  

“Being able to take that five hours over 30% of readmissions and put those nurses and those team members back on the floor to provide more direct care, [that’s a] huge win for our clinical teams,” Cook said. 

He added that having the system in place also means having a physician or nurse practitioner on site on a more regular basis, which in turn “creates better clinical outcomes long-term.” It’s also united the care coordination on its campus between skilled nursing, assisted and independent living, and memory care. 

“By having one provider unite the care coordination on our campus, it’s going to create better outcomes, better care management and better care transitions for our residents,” Cook said. 

“We believe that’s going to reduce costs. It’s going to reduce heartache. It’s going to reduce the anxiety as those residents and family have as they age and need more care programs and services,” he added.