Insurance giant Genworth (NYSE: GNW) has teamed with serial entrepreneur Timothy Peck on a startup meant to redefine the way older adults connect with housing, services and care.
Currently, when older adults and their loved ones are in need, they must start to navigate a system that is “fragmented,” “dizzying,” “overwhelming” and “unfair,” Peck told Senior Housing News.
“This unfairness is something that has driven me to think, how can we make solutions to put more power back in the hands of the caregivers and the aging and make something, yes, less fragmented, but something more, that empowers these people to be able to find the quality that they need,” he said.
This goal sprang from his own experiences as a member of the sandwich generation, as well as his experiences in medicine and business.
Peck graduated from medical school at NYU, was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and was Chief Resident in the Emergency Department of Beth Israel Deaconess. He founded Call9, a company that leveraged telehealth to connect skilled nursing facilities with in-house emergency care; that company folded but formed the basis for a subsequent venture, Curve Health, which includes a “virtual hospital solution” for SNFs among its offerings. Peck remains on the board of Curve.
When Peck began exploring how to address the problems of care navigation for older adults, he learned that Genworth also was pursuing this goal.
The result is a startup within the Genworth organization, which Peck announced in a LinkedIn post on Tuesday.
“That’s where combining that experience of Genworth with the passion and agility of a startup can come together to actually make this plan finally work in a value-based way,” he told SHN.
Details of the venture remain sparse in advance of a more formal rollout anticipated to take place in early 2023. However, the startup — which is based in New York City — has begun to hire a team and is seeking partners throughout the long-term care space. A splash page has been posted online.
The basic idea is to contract with certain care and service providers, including senior living communities and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), that can meet “human-centered” quality measures that will be defined. Leveraging Genworth’s existing LTC caregiver support services, the startup will help connect older adults and their loved ones with appropriate resources to meet their needs.
The plan is to start by providing these services in particular markets to Genworth policy holders, and then eventually to expand nationwide and to the general population. Genworth has approximately 1.1 million long-term care insurance policyholders and 1.6 million life insurance and annuity customers.
Peck and Genworth are not alone in recognizing the difficulties of navigating the U.S. system of long-term services and supports. A recent report from Nexus Insights — an organization started by National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) Co-Founder Bob Kramer — focused on “The Missing Entry Point to Long-Term Care Solutions for Older Adults and Their Caregivers.”
The report described the “crisis point” that thousands of people confront each day, precipitated by a hospital discharge, a fall, the death of a spouse or another life event.
“It is the point at which someone exits the health care system, or the post-acute care facility, or the home where they have lived independently, and enters a confusing maze of post-acute and long-term care services and supports,” the report authors wrote. “It can be a terrifying and lonely journey filled with dead ends and hidden entrances or exits. Too often, older adults and those who care for them are left to find their way alone.”
Peck uses similar language to describe the woeful experiences that older adults currently endure due to poor or non-existent care navigation, and the need for a “one-stop shop” for people to access services and supports.
“This is a ferociously mission-driven startup that we’re creating,” he told SHN. “It’s just something we’re passionate about solving.”