Assisted Living Providers Add Solutions for Hospital Referrals


assisted livingBy Carol Marak

Assisted Living Providers Add Solutions for Hospital Referrals

What’s the fastest way assisted living facilities increase occupancy?

If you guessed hospital patients, you’re right!

Several senior living companies, big ones like Brookdale Senior Living and non-profit ones like Eskaton look to growing their post-acute care services. They have strategies in place that emphasizes care management, chronic health care services, and on-site medical teams. Private payers are the target for these transitional models, taking patients from hospitals to assisted living to home.

The secret formula includes branding transition care and surrounding your company with partners that hospitals recognize. It may not be your core business—just a need in the marketplace where you’ll find help when challenged with occupancy.

Senior living operators work with discharge planners for short-term care plans for patients allowing them to transition from acute care back to their home. Ultimately, managed care will look to assisted living for patients with less-critical illness and as an alternative to skilled care and home care.

Assisted living can be the place that offers access to a nurse supervising residents around the clock. By retooling one’s transitional care for the short-term patient, assisted living may find a quick fix to occupancy issues.

In a 2010 survey of residential care homes by The Center for Disease Control, they found only 27% of assisted living facilities offered short-term care.

Other findings in the CDC study:

55% offer Case management

35% offer Social counseling

95% offer simple Health monitoring

90% offer Special diets

45% offer Physical therapy

40% offer Occupational therapy

40% offer Skilled nursing services

If you’re interested in seeing graphs and illustrations on CDC’s residential care facility study, go to Services Offered by Assisted Living Communities.

By adding services like these, hospitals can then refer patients who don’t qualify for an admission or skilled nursing coverage to the assisted living community on a short-term basis. Patients preparing for surgery can opt for assisted living and those with orthopedic procedures have access to the protocols they need for therapy post-surgery.

Assisted living emerges from a popular senior living option for older adults seeking a place to reside, to a place for all patients to find medical monitoring and minor medical care while receiving personal privacy and freedom.

It’s a great solution for assisted living operators looking to increase occupancy. The revenue from the short-term stay may seem like a wash but it takes a lot of energy to moving a person in. But some operators know that at some point in time, that person may need to move in permanently, and that community will be at the top of their list.

Carol Marak is a contributor for the senior living and health care market. Carol writes on tough topics that older adults and family caregivers face. Her work is found on  and . Contact Carol at