nurse with patient

Residents of 160 Twin Cities-area assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities will have exclusive access to two new Medicare Advantage HMO institutional special needs plans, or I-SNPs, effective Jan. 1. 

Minneapolis-based UCare, a nonprofit health plan, and Genevive, a geriatric medical practice and care management organization, partnered to design two HMO I-SNPs: UCare Advocate Choice and UCare Advocate Plus. The plans are open to residents of Minneapolis / St. Paul metropolitan area long-term care communities that are part of 22 participating organizations within a 14-county metro service area. 

The targeted insurance program “creates a unique and exciting partnership” that is aimed at improving care, reducing costs and providing navigation services, according to Genevive CEO Amanda Tufano. About two-thirds of plan-eligible adults are assisted living or memory care community residents, and about one-third are skilled nursing residents.

UCare already has a large SNP footprint in Minnesota with 19,000 members, and Genevive is one of the largest geriatric primary care practices in the Twin Cities. 

Mike Bingham, senior vice president of Presbyterian Homes & Services, said the integrated care model provides “more robust care” on campus through nurse practitioners and doctors.

“Fewer people will have to leave the building to get their primary care,” he explained. 

The plan also provides financial savings through fewer emergency department visits and hospitalizations, Bingham added.

“Dollars we save there flow largely back to us, and we can invest in life enrichment and amenities to our communities,” he said. “The model allows us to invest in our communities over time.” 

Genevive, co-owned by Allina Health and Presbyterian Homes & Services, previously partnered with nonprofit health plan Medica and 10 long-term care companies to offer a new HMO I-SNP earlier this year to about 5,500 qualifying assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing residents living in 78 communities. The new program rollout is an expansion of Genevive’s counties, facilities and payer partners.

Tufano said many of Genevive’s senior living partners have been working with the company for years.

“Senior housing groups are key partners in the overall well-being of their residents,” she told McKnight’s Senior Living. “Our partners were looking for an opportunity that provides direct and coordinated benefits for their residents that includes and highlights their great work.”

Each plan participant has access to:

  • A dedicated Genevive care coordinator, nurse practitioner and physician.
  • Free routine eye exam and eyewear allowance.
  • A hearing aid allowance and hearing supply discounts.
  • A dental allowance and dental kit.
  • Transportation to medical, dental and pharmacy appointments.
  • A $100 annual benefit for over-the-counter purchases.
  • A falls prevention kit.

“UCare Advocate plans provide care right where the member lives,” said Ghita Worcester, UCare senior vice president of public affairs and chief marketing officer. “We are building products that provide a continuum of care for our members at every life stage.”

Other Medicare Advantage plan special partnerships that formed last year include Toledo, OH-based real estate investment trust Welltower’s collaboration with CareMore, and Bloomfield, NJ-based Juniper Communities’ partnership with AllyAlign Health.

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