How LeadingAge Members Are Driven to Create Solutions Through Housing With Services

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Aging Services of California, in partnership with its affordable housing members, is raising awareness of the role affordable senior housing providers can play in the state's proposal under the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) State Demonstrations to Integrate Care for Dual Eligible Individuals project.

Late last year, the LeadingAge Center for Applied Research held a call with the state associations in the 15 states selected for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) State Demonstrations to Integrate Care for Dual Eligible Individuals project to find out whether and how affordable senior housing settings were being considered in the states’ proposals. Following the call, Aging Services of California kicked it into high gear. 

JoAnne Handy, the association’s CEO, had already been attending stakeholder meetings held by the state, and had been the only one to bring up the role of housing. Aging Services of California convened a conference call with several of their affordable housing members to explore ways to capitalize on this opportunity to play a pivotal role in health care transformation. 

They also developed a white paper to be shared with housing providers, health care providers and state health and housing officials about what affordable senior housing settings can offer to complement CMS’s three part aim of better care, better outcomes and lower costs for dual eligibles. 

Capitated managed care model

Like several of the states developing demonstrations, California will lean on a capitated managed care model to provide dual eligibles seamless access to a full continuum of medical care and social supports and services. 

The state recently released a Request for Solutions to identify applicants who can fulfill this role. As recommended by Aging Services of California, applicants are asked to describe how they would “partner with housing providers, such as senior housing, residential care facilities, assisted living facilities, and continuing care retirement communities, to arrange for housing or to provide services in the housing facilities for beneficiaries.” 

In early March, Aging Services of California will hold a roundtable with select leaders of affordable senior housing, managed care plans, and state health and housing departments to explore ways in senior housing properties can benefit health care providers and managed care organizations by facilitating interventions within their communities that promote independence and healthy outcomes.

Oregon and Vermont are driving solutions, as well. Cedar Sinai Park and LeadingAge Oregon have been working with the state to include a small pilot within their state’s demonstration proposal that would include a consortium involving health care, mental health, substance abuse treatment, home care and care management professionals working as a multi-disciplinary team to provide services in affordable housing services. 

Likewise, Cathedral Square Corporation and LeadingAge Vermont are dialoguing with the state to include the Senior’s Aging Safely at Home (SASH) program in the state’s demonstration. 

SASH is a care coordination program, anchored in affordable senior housing properties, that links health and supportive services to the home to support older adults’ ability to manage their care needs and age in place.