Chris Conway headshot
Chris Conway
Chris Conway headshot
Chris Conway

As senior living operators look to data-driven decision-making, one often overlooked resource stands out as a powerful tool: life expectancy data.

The little-known life settlement industry, with its expertise in preparing life expectancy reports focused on individuals and not ZIP codes, offers invaluable insights. By understanding and leveraging “micro-longevity risk,” the risk associated with a specific individual’s life expectancy, operators of retirement communities can make informed and strategic business decisions, ensuring better financial outcomes.

In his “Six Key Drivers Shaping the Future of Senior Living” series covered by McKnight’s Senior Living, National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care co-founder Bob Kramer emphasizes the transformative impact of data and analytics on senior living.

He offers a deep dive in key driver No. 5: “The Increasing Importance of Data and Analytics,” stating that in addition to data that can improve the resident’s experience, potential partners will want to work with operators who can provide insights into the health conditions and the healthcare spending profile of member residents.

“Similarly, operators need data on the healthcare needs of residents to evaluate the feasibility of potential partnerships, especially in a risk-bearing arrangement,” Kramer says. “If you are in discussions to partner with a physician practice or a healthcare system, you need to understand the healthcare spending patterns of your population.”

In an era where customized healthcare paths and strategic business strategies are key, harnessing the power of data is no longer a luxury but a necessity.

This is where life expectancy data steps in as a potential game-changer for an industry recognizing the value of data and the risks of guessing. By evaluating the life expectancy of individual applicants and residents, senior living operators can gain a deeper understanding of the potential length-of-stay, a critical component that directly affects financial decisions and resident well-being. Gone are the days of relying on population-based estimates that often fall short due to variations among different regions and demographics.

Life expectancy data provide a personalized and accurate assessment, allowing management teams to mitigate longevity risk and make well-informed choices.

One might ask, “Who should I consult about the longevity risk associated with our business?” The reality is that every senior living organization needs a designated individual inside the operation who is responsible for assessing and managing longevity risk. This crucial role ensures a comprehensive understanding of the financial implications of extended residency periods. By quantifying this risk accurately, management teams can plan for the future, make expansion plans based on data, safeguard against financial uncertainties, and provide the best possible care for their residents.

Moreover, the benefits of incorporating life expectancy data extend far beyond financial considerations. Armed with this knowledge, senior living operators can tailor their services and resources to meet the unique needs of each resident. From healthcare planning to staffing allocations, personalized solutions driven by data can enhance the quality of care and resident satisfaction. By harnessing the insights provided by this data, operators can empower their communities to thrive in an increasingly competitive market.

The time has come for senior living management teams to recognize the immense value of knowing the life expectancy of their residents. Not a broad-brush review based on where they are from, where the property is located, smoker/non-smoker and other general health estimates, but tailored to the individual. By embracing the expertise of the life settlement industry and its ability to generate accurate life expectancy reports, operators can unlock strategic insights and make data-driven decisions based on facts. In an industry under financial pressure, one that demands innovation and foresight, harnessing the power of life expectancy data should no longer be an option.

Chris Conway is a 30+ year veteran and co-founder of ISC Services, an expert in the life settlement industry. He has tactical experience in all buy-side and post-purchase sectors of the marketplace. Conway is focused on working with investors and asset managers to develop the next-generation platform for life-contingent businesses. ISC Services serves companies in the senior living, life settlement, financial services sectors.

The opinions expressed in each McKnight’s Senior Living marketplace column are those of the author and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Senior Living.

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