LeadingAge Magazine · March-April 2019 • Volume 09 • Number 02

“If we want to remain relevant to our constituency, we have to change too."

That quote is from a LeadingAge member, Arnold Possick of the Los Angeles Jewish Home, who was interviewed for one of our articles on value-based care. His organization, with more than a century of success behind it, is seeking new ways to not just survive, but to thrive—as are a lot of other LeadingAge-member organizations.

Editor photo
Gene Mitchell

Breaking fee-for-service habits is hard, and that has been true for entities in every sector of the health or human services fields that have had to adapt to a new world of managed care. The really big players in American health care—government, hospitals, and insurance companies—have been at it the longest, and as the system they dominate evolves, aging services providers have been working to keep up.

As I’ve learned from talking to many members over the years, the “outside-looking-in” syndrome has been frustrating them for a long time. Post-acute and LTSS providers have worked with managed care organizations (MCOs) of all kinds, and have usually been appreciated by the latter. Even so, our members have long felt that, despite their investments in working with those systems, too many of the rewards have stayed with the MCOs. (You’ll read quotes in this issue to that effect from several members.)

For nonprofit providers, those rewards could mean more services for more people, more innovation, and better preparedness to serve the enormous older adult population headed our way.

Before telling you about this issue’s articles, I should put in a plug for LeadingAge’s new Center for Managed Care Solutions & Innovations. It’s a great source of information, tools, promising practices, thought leadership, and more. If you’re facing a steep learning curve about value-based services, as I am, the new Center is worth exploring.

In our first feature, “Be the Disruption You Seek,” you’ll learn about how some providers are gaining control over their fate by gaining control over premium dollars, especially by launching special needs plans. As is usual with ambitious initiatives, these organizations are building strategic partnerships with other LTSS providers and with health plans to make it work. In this article we’re also reprising a podcast from 2018 that has direct bearing on the subject.

Good transitions put the manage into managed care. The intersection of acute and post-acute care services has long been a priority for CMS and a hot spot for eliminating high—and avoidable—expenses. Read “Quality Transitions Boost Value-Based Services” to learn about a couple of nursing-intensive transitions models that are showing positive results.

Aging Services Prepares for Risk” echoes some of the themes of our first feature, and illustrates how some members have prepared themselves for thriving while embracing risk.

The Care and Feeding of Networks” gathers insights from professionals who manage provider networks, which are invaluable to aging services organizations seeking a place in a managed-care world.

A different kind of insight infuses a great member-written feature, “Intergenerational Veterans Program Keeps the Dialogue Going.” Read about a program that brings together veterans of 20th-century wars and college students with a taste for history. Storytelling ensues.

Wading Through Discomfort to Create Better Outcomes” is a thoughtful account of how the 2018 fellows of the Larry Minnix Leadership Academy used the study circle model, not just to brainstorm solutions to complex issues, but to develop their own skills in thinking in a multilayered way.

Good teachers and speakers will tell you that storytelling captures the imagination and engages people without fail. The latest in our “People We Serve” series is no exception to that rule. Read “Tales of Adventure, Generosity, and Fun: These are the People We Serve,” and keep those stories coming!

Finally, listen to our newest podcast, “Federal Tax Reform and Aging Services Providers,” to hear a conversation with 3 experts (one of them a member) who examine some of the likely effects of last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on LeadingAge members.

Gene Mitchell is editor of LeadingAge magazine.