Good Sam Looks Forward With Healthcare Merger Plans

“The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society and Sanford, a healthcare system with 44 hospitals and nearly 300 clinics, are moving forward with plans to merge the organizations by January 1, executives have announced,” McKnight’s Long-Term Care News reports. “Each organization’s governing board approved the affiliation this week, which will merge 19,000 Good Sam employees in 24 states with 28,000 Sanford employees in nine states. Good Samaritan in recent years was the largest nonprofit provider of skilled nursing services in the country but the largely rural provider has contemplated shedding assets in recent years amid tough market conditions.”

Having an In-House Insurance Plan Could Signal PDPM Success

“Some skilled nursing providers have turned to in-house insurance plans to take more control of the care process, and the move could pay off if the government’s new proposed reimbursement model is finalized,” according to Skilled Nursing News. “The Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM), which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed in April, would overhaul skilled nursing reimbursements to focus on patient need rather than on volume of services, at least according to CMS’ announcement at the time. The industry has been cautiously optimistic about the model, which has yet to be finalized; the comment submission period closed Tuesday. Some providers have found offering in-house insurance plans to be a good fit as they adapt to the world of Medicare Advantage, which is growing at a rapid clip.”

Brookdale, Welltower to Part Ways on 63 Communities

“Brookdale Senior Living and real estate investment trust Welltower announced lease restructuring plans Wednesday that will result in 63 senior living communities transitioning to different operators,” reports McKnight’s Senior Living. “Brentwood, TN-based Brookdale’s lease obligations for 37 of the communities will be terminated effective June 30, the country’s largest senior living community operator said. Toledo, OH-based Welltower said those communities will be managed by a newly formed management group, Pegasus Senior Living. Pegasus, which will be headquartered in Dallas, will be led by Steven Vick and Chris Hollister.”

Ripples of CVS, Amazon Deals Could Eventually Reach Skilled Nursing

“The recent megadeals involving popular consumer brands and health care giants haven’t touched skilled nursing yet, but the moves are sending ripple effects through the industry as a whole — and SNF providers would be wise to listen up. When CVS acquired insurance giant Aetna and Amazon teamed up to form a health care company with JPMorgan Chase and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathway, the signal to the health care space was loud and clear: the future of delivery is closer to America’s dynamic retail reality, and farther away from its institutional past,” according to Skilled Nursing News. “”The experience of being a consumer at Walmart or CVS is better than the experience of being a consumer at a hospital,’ Adam Blumenthal, managing partner at Blue Wolf Capital Partners, said at the Post Acute 360 conference in National Harbor, Md. last week. ‘They don’t put you in a waiting room at Walmart. If they did, people would walk out.’ Blumenthal, speaking on a panel of executives from a variety of investment firms, said that industry-watchers tend to pay attention to the ways that major companies can shake up the health care industry with their sheer volume — for instance, Amazon capitalizing on its already robust network of fulfillment centers and embedded delivery infrastructure to provide an advantage over pharmacy and medical supply distributors.”

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