In another sign that value-based care is rapidly growing within senior living, AllyAlign Health is partnering with two other health care organizations to form Curana Health, with a goal of expanding across senior living and skilled nursing facilities nationwide.
AllyAlign Health, Elite Patient Care and Provider Health Services are merging to create Curana, in a bid to grow value-based health care service models moving forward. AllyAlign Health helps senior living and skilled nursing providers launch and run Medicare Advantage plans. Elite Patient Care provides various levels of care and clinical services in 12 states while Provider Health Services provides geriatric care nationwide.
“My perspective is that the value-based care movement is here to stay and it’s going to continue to grow,” Curana Health CEO Mark Price told Senior Housing News. “The overall idea in health care that we should be paying for great outcomes, as opposed to paying for the volume of services delivered, is a concept that makes sense.”
Curana Health currently covers organizations in 26 states and includes over 1,000 skilled nursing and senior living communities nationwide. SNFs make up the majority of Curana’s footprint today, but Price expects the senior living business to expand.
The organization includes Curana Health Medical Group, AllyAlign Health as operator of Medicare Advantage plans and an accountable care organization (ACO) through Curana Health ACO. The broader medical group consists of over 400 clinicians and care staff across skilled nursing, assisted living, memory care, assisted living and life plan communities.
“We want to bring the benefits of value-based care to as many residents in a community that we can,” Price said.
The ACO will be available to all communities nationwide that work with Curana, and participating communities will automatically be attributed to the ACO if residents within a community who are original Medicare beneficiaries are receiving care from an affiliated physician that is a member, Price said.
So, existing AllyAlign clients now will have access to an ACO and the expanded clinical group, creating what Price described as “a more comprehensive set of tools in the value-based care toolkit” — but, they are not obligated to tap into the whole range of available options.
Price said the creation of Curana would benefit participating communities across the board by boosting resident health outcomes and satisfaction; lead to enhanced payments while increasing occupancy; provide further support to short-staffed communities and “create the future of health care.”
“It will really innovate in the development of value-based care models for health care and senior living,” Price added. “…Everything we are doing is based on building a better, healthier ecosystem that’s founded on value-based care.”
In terms of specific operational benefits, the presence of Curana clinicians in SNFs and senior living communities can help alleviate staff burdens related to care and coordination of services, he said.
The rise of value-based care has led to some concerns that SNFs and senior living communities may not receive the full financial upside that they deserve for helping to drive down health care costs by supporting resident wellness.
Price is sensitive to those concerns and said that Curana is meant to put senior living and SNF operators in advantageous positions.
“That’s a key part of what we bring to the table … whether it’s Medicare Advantage, whether it’s an ACO, any other program, let’s go create it together, and let’s make sure that it really works well, and that it’s centered in the way that the community works,” he said.
Price previously was market president of Nevada for health care system Intermountain and also has held leadership roles with DaVita Medical Group, ChenMed and Bain & Company. For about the last year-and-a-half, he and a “small group” have been focused on creating Curana to address chronic health services.
“In the early days, it was really this concept of, let’s put together a comprehensive value-based care, population health approach for senior living and skilled nursing communities around the country,” he said. “And so that was really the concept, and then we started looking around at what companies we felt would form the right foundation of what we were trying to put together.”
None of the organizations combining to create Curana is acquiring any of the others, he said — rather, they are joining a common platform, and Price anticipates that other organizations will join the platform in the future.
The creation of Curana Health comes as Medicare Advantage plans become more common within senior living. AllyAlign has been a driving force in this trend, working with groups such as The Perennial Consortium and providers such as Marquis Companies in launching MA plans specifically tailored toward senior living residents. Last summer, AllyAlign secured a $300 million capital infusion led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA).
In the last eight years, AllyAlign data has shown a 37% reduction in total hospital admissions among Medicare Advantage ISNP members and a 95% satisfaction rate of clinical service satisfaction,, Price said.
With Curana gaining momentum, Price has the new company’s sights set on future growth, including through expanding the ACO and clinical group to new markets — and doing the same for MA plans, although that is a more complicated proposition. Overall, he is bullish on growth prospects.
“There is significantly an appetite for what we’re doing,” he said.
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