For seniors living on their savings built over a lifetime, moving to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) may offer exactly the stability that they want and need. The devaluation of the housing market and concern over our economic instability may play an important role in this decision. In fact, choosing a CCRC can actually reduce financial risk for seniors.
A CCRC is a particular type of retirement community that offers several levels of health care on one campus.
- Independent Living - Also referred to as “residential living,” these freestanding units and independent living apartments are for residents who do not need personal assistance.
- Assisted Living - Also referred to as “extended living,” this serves those who require some help with the activities of daily living.
- Memory Care - Sometimes referred to as “special care,” these units provide for those suffering from Alzheimer or other memory impairing conditions that need attention that is more intensive.
- Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation - This option provides both short and long-term acre in an on-campus healthcare center.
A CCRC is a financially wise decision for a number of reasons.
Home health care is defined as skilled nursing care and certain other health care services that you get in your home for the treatment of an illness or injury. At last count, there were 12,445 Medicare-certified home health agencies and 20,660 other home care companies in the United States. Indeed, home health care is the fastest growing sector in the industry serving those who require elderly health care. This is due to a number of reasons:
- The enactment of Medicare in 1965
- The 1987 revisions to Medicare, which introduced reimbursement to home care agencies
- The continual growth of our aging population
- The increased life expectancy of seniors
- The willingness to decrease the length of hospital stays and provide early discharge of many patients to home care
Classification of Home Care Agencies
Freestanding proprietary agencies provide most formal home care. Home care is also provided by hospital-based agencies, with nonprofit public and private health agencies providing a smaller portion. There are three major classifications of home health care agencies:
There are many stops along the aging path and independent living is only one of them. With an average stay of three to five years, independent living facilities are in a constant state of turnover. Independent living attracts seniors traveling along the care continuum, offering what residents desire, which means either affordable or increasingly upscale options. They also want health-care access when and where needed.
The aging of the independent living population presents some unique financial challenges. People are living longer, so the average resident is older now when they move into an independent living facility than they were five years ago. The average resident is more than 80 years old, more fragile, and has more health concerns. Over half live with some sort of assistive device – a cane, wheelchair, or walker.
In order to provide the best service to your clients, it is necessary to know Medicare Requirements for skilled nursing facilities. The nursing home reform law, the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA '87), and Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes (a campaign launched by a coalition of consumers, health care providers, and nursing home professionals), as well as other campaigns serve as the foundation for the Medicare Five-Star Quality Rating System.
In order to assess the rating of a skilled nursing facility, three sources of data are used:
When an occurrence happens that puts your facility at risk, is not the time to begin to be concerned about risk management. The best protection for your facility considers three areas: 1) good management 2) up-to-date, reviewed personnel policies and 3) well-designed insurance coverage.
All the efforts taken to manage a facility well contribute to sound risk management. Fully attentive administrative staff with a wide range of skills may be the most important guard against major risks.
Careful strategic planning and effective supervision helps ensure organizational resources is closely aligned to accomplishing the facility’s mission, and that staff and volunteers are treated fairly and comply with rules and regulations.
Management skills needed for nursing home supervision include:
Facilities for seniors have some unique security challenges. Residents require protection along with the care and comfort they are provided. As a broker who provides service to agents addressing the coverage needs of elder care facilities, it is important for you to understand the security problems and requirements these facilities must address.
Violence has increased in our society. This has increased the challenge to provide a safe and secure environment for elder care facility residents. Additionally, technological advances have allowed facilities to employ sophisticated monitoring equipment, alarms, and security systems. Litigation also has had an impact on the security functions of personnel in elder care facilities.
Senior care facilities present some unique security challenges. When the elder care facility is establishing security, the following areas must be addressed to meet these challenges:
Content Updated: Jan 22, 2018
An intermediate care facility (ICF) is a type of healthcare facility designed to provide custodial care for individuals who are unable to care for themselves because of mental or physical infirmity.
ICFs are typically used by individuals who are disabled or non-acutely ill, but can provide a wide range of benefits for elderly patients as well. These care facilities provide less intensive care than what is offered at a hospital or skilled nursing facility, while giving patients an alternative to being in the hospital for extended amounts of time.
Who ICFs Work Best For
Seniors with chronic conditions who can’t live independently but do not need constant care can benefit from the services of an intermediate care facility. While ICFs were first established in the 1980s to help transition hospitalized elderly to their home within a few months, only half of the elderly discharged patients were able to return home and nearly 25% stayed in the intermediate care facility for over one year.
Intermediate care facilities provide supportive care and nursing supervision under medical direction twenty-four hours per day. The goal of these facilities is to enable patients to return to a home setting and regain or retain the functions of daily living if possible. The services an ICF can provide are of great benefit to elderly patients for a variety of reasons:
Intermediate care facilities help to provide greater independence to elderly patients, which in turn increases their quality of life. May seniors could use some additional assistance with daily tasks, but don’t require specialized medical attention on a daily basis.
Intermediate care facilities can help with a multitude of tasks including; getting dressed or undressed, bathing and showering, daily hygiene, using the restroom, moving around the facility, laundry and housekeeping assistance, transportation to and from activities and appointments, and reminders to take medications.
Because ICF residents have more control over the structure of their daily life, they also feel more confident and motivated to reach their therapy goals.
Intermediate care facilities can be less expensive than other types of care due to needing less administration and other resources to provide adequate service. This results in a decrease in operating expenses and, thus, the cost for the patient.
Elderly patients who do not require constant nursing care may find that an ICF is an affordable alternative to a nursing home. Studies show that patients in intermediate care facilities recover at the same rate as those who remain in the hospital. Because intermediate care is proven to be an effective alternative to an extended hospital stay, elderly patients can save money on costly hospital stays.
Intermediate care facilities provide focused service, taking away from less important administrative tasks and centering on services that the patients really need. Regulations for intermediate facilities means standardized care for patients. Family members can rest easy knowing their elderly loved ones are being well cared for in a safe environment while still maintaining a large part of their independence.
Intermediate care facilities can also remove the challenge of decision-making. The decision to move an elderly patient back into a home environment can be challenging to make. Since patient recovery can be very unpredictable, intermediate care facilities provide an opportunity for continued monitoring by a physician, who can help decide when the time is right.
About Highland Risk
At Highland Risk, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. With three offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; and Burlington, Connecticut, we do everything we can to make your experience with us as professional and transparent as possible. To learn more, contact us at (877) 890-9301.
As an agent, your clients may be asking about their insurance rates: “Why did my insurance premium go up? , or “Since I have never had a loss, why didn’t my insurance rates go down this year?” Insurance rates, for the most part, have gone up anywhere from 6% to 15%. There are a number of reasons for this increase.
A “Hard” Market
After about five to six years of a “soft” market, we are starting to see the market turn “hard”. Mortgage rates and government bond rates have hardly ever been as low as they have been for the past few years. Previously, when government rates were in the five to seven percent range, insurance companies were able to offset the claims they were paying out by parking a percentage of their premiums in these bonds, which in turn, helped keep rates low. Now, with government bonds yielding barely one percent, insurance companies no longer has that cushion to help with insurance claims.
An incident report is a form filled out to record details of an unusual event that occurs at an assisted living facility involving a patient. Guidelines usually require an incident report when an event occurs that harms an individual, illustrates a potential for harm, or evidences serious dissatisfaction by patients, visitors, or staff. An example of an incident requiring a report would be if a patient's visiting family member helps him out of bed despite directions to the contrary by staff members and the patient falls and is injured.
Incident reports must be completed promptly with all the circumstances surrounding the event, while the details are