The founder of the company formerly known as AllyAlign has launched a new company and integrated care model that is gaining traction with senior living operators in its initial rollout.
The new Richmond, Virginia-based company is called Synergy Healthcare. At its helm is Will Saunders, who previously founded and was CEO of AllyAlign Health, a company that in May joined forces with two others to become Curana Health.
“It’s my passion,” Saunder told Senior Housing News. “I really like reforming a system and I really like helping seniors. I know there is a huge need out there.”
The launch of Synergy came after Saunders earlier this year bought a personal care agency that had been in business for 20 years. With a new platform under his belt, he is now launching a new clinical model developed over the past six months.
At its core, Synergy’s care model is aimed at connecting older adults with physicians, advanced practitioners, pharmacists, nurses, care aides and social workers to receive recurring home care services such as primary care, personal care, remote patient monitoring and therapy. The care model also includes a specialized pharmacy to help seniors manage their medication complex medication regimens.
The services are typically covered by Medicare at no cost to the patient other than copayments.
The model is specifically built for older adults living with chronic conditions in their homes, which can include senior living communities. Initially, Synergy is rolling out the care model in central Virginia with an initial group of patients. The company also is accepting a limited number of new members.
Older adults aren’t the only ones taking notice of the new model. Saunders said many aspects of the care model “really resonate” with assisted living and independent living providers, and that Synergy has already seen “significant traction” with senior living operators.
“[Operators] want a clinical solution for their residents,” Saunders said. “We’ve found they have been much more open, post-Covid, to a clinical partner who can really have an effective solution for their residents.”
Synergy partners with existing clinicians at senior living communities to expand health care services offered to residents. Synergy’s network is 100% owned and operated through its private personal care agency.
When working in a community, Synergy first conducts a health assessment with residents. From there, a physician assistant and social worker provide them with a personalized plan that includes access to and information on certain health care services.
Residents can add on additional services, such as therapy or care from advanced practitioners, to their care plans on an as-needed basis.
“We have a virtual team that’s doing a lot of it,” Saunders said. “We can’t replace an on-site nurse, but we can pick up the slack for a high percentage of issues that needed attention.”
For residents, many of whom are living with a host of chronic conditions, the service’s benefits are clear. Saunders said another important detail of Synergy’s care model is that older adults don’t have to pay out-of-pocket for anything that isn’t covered by a Medicare benefit.
“We’ve reverse-engineered what Medicare covers,” Saunders said. “It’s a conduit to the senior.”
The care model initially came together in the first half of the year, Saunders said. One of the first steps was purchasing a personal care agency that allowed the “full model” to be rolled out to initial clients.
“Families really like having an integrated team that doesn’t force them to give up their existing providers, but helps them navigate the system more elegantly,” Saunders said.
In the end, Saunders said the more integrated care approach would allow for longer stays at current care levels rather than making the tough decision to move a resident. And he thinks that will hold sway with more senior living operators as the industry shifts to embrace more value-based care models.
“We’re taking advantage of what Medicare is promoting to optimize diversity and improve outcomes of folks in their own home and in senior living,” Saunders said.
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