SAN DIEGO — Medicare Advantage, managed care, institutional special needs plans, or I-SNPs. Peruse the program for the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care’s 2019 Spring Conference and you’ll see these words mentioned in many session descriptions.

The efforts are designed to save the healthcare system money by focusing on preventive care and coordination of care, thereby avoiding falls, unnecessary hospitalizations and rehospitalizations. Participating providers can realize profits when they save the system money while being able to prove positive health outcomes for beneficiaries. They also may collect payments for services they already are offering, such as transportation, nutrition and social and physical wellness programming.

The 2.5 to 3 million older adults who live in senior housing and skilled nursing in the United States “have healthcare needs, and this is an opportunity for seniors housing and skilled nursing to figure out how to either partner with others or build some of those capabilities themselves,” NIC President and CEO Brian Jurutka told McKnight’s Senior Living. Healthcare is 18 percent of gross domestic product, he added.

“Value Creation, Partnerships and Risk” is one of two focus areas for the meeting, with the other being “Investing and Valuations.”

The conference kicked off Wednesday with educational sessions in the afternoon and an evening welcome reception. A total of more than 1,700 capital providers, capital seekers and others are attending, with approximately 25% of them being first-timers, Jurutka said.

Two of the three Wednesday educational sessions highlighted Medicare Advantage-related efforts in various stages by senior living and skilled nursing operators. Fifty percent of all Medicare beneficiaries will be covered by Medicare Advantage plans by 2030, predicted John Rijos, co-founder and operating partner of Chicago Pacific Founders and chairman and CEO of its senior housing subsidiary, CPF Living.

Speakers offered tips to attendees:

  • If you don’t already have an electronic medical records system, get one, Rijos said.
  • Realize that you can offer medical services in your buildings while also offering hospitality, said Chris Winkle, CEO of Sunrise Senior Living, which offers the Sunrise Advantage plan. Residents have healthcare needs, he said, and they want to stay in assisted living.
  • Do your due diligence, said Peter Longo, principal and managing partner of the Cantex Continuing Care Network, which has an I-SNP, ProCare Advantage, scheduled to go live on Jan. 1, 2020. Talk to others and learn how their programs work, he added.
  • Understand how to coordinate and manage care and services, which may require a new model of care — you can’t just call 911 in an emergency, said Lynne Katzmann, president and CEO of Juniper Communities, which is forming the Perennial Advantage Plan with Christian Living Communities, Ohio Living and care management company AllyAlign Health.
  • Make sure you have the right partners, such as insurers, Katzmann said.

The topic will be revisited in several sessions throughout the conference.

Also Wednesday:

  • NIC announced the addition of the Seniors Housing Rate Tiers Report to its NIC MAP Data Service. These NIC MAP data provide a historical time-series of trends for both independent living and assisted living properties by top, middle and bottom tiers of properties based on average market rates within respective metropolitan markets.
  • NIC also announced that long-term care software company MatrixCare is the organization’s latest actual rates software partner, offering reports designed to enable operators to easily report the most accurate data on the monthly rates a seniors housing resident pays as compared with the property’s asking rates. MatrixCare joins Yardi in this effort.

The meeting continues through Friday.