LSA Blog

Asking the Tough Questions about Senior Care in America – the LSA Network Comes Together to Drive Solutions

Blog Date: 
Friday, July 24, 2015
by Alesia Frerichs, Vice President of Member Engagement

Imagine the energy, collective wisdom and ideas that came together when 17 LSA senior services providers met in Washington DC on July 17 to envision how wellness and care could be redefined to improve the lives of older Americans.   As the largest faith-based non-profit group serving older adults in the United States, representing close to 200 Lutheran social ministry organizations that offer senior care, the LSA network has provided a broad range of care and support for seniors from all walks of life in all types of communities for decades. 

As LSA members providing senior services know, there is a significant transformation occurring in senior services: older adults are living longer, many are choosing to remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible, breakthroughs in health care technology are changing recovery protocols and the Affordable Care Act is challenging traditional care and business models.    What does all this mean for the most vulnerable seniors in our communities who may not have the family support or means to navigate change?   How can the LSA network build upon a strong tradition and enduring mission of providing services to older adults and define the future standards of care?   What are the valuable ways the network can come together, harnessing the collective wisdom and experience to define new care models and business models that best manage senior health and lead to improved wellness outcomes? 

These questions and more were the focus of the third working session of the LSA Senior Services working group led by CliftonLarsonAllen health care practice consultants Nicole Fallon and James Watson.  And while these are tough questions, the day ended with a clear set of actions including a plan to share pilot designs and lessons learned, a list of joint business opportunities to pursue, and an approach to define and evaluate new care models.   

A week that started with LSA’s participation in the “invite only” White House Conference on Aging, culminated with a working session that illustrated the energy, passion, intellect and business acumen of the talented people who dedicate their lives and careers to Lutheran Social Ministry.    There are many pieces of this collective journey that need to fall into place, but the opportunity to come together and ensure a future of strong thriving Lutheran Social Ministries to improve the lives of older adults from all walks of life is well underway.  

Participating organizations in the senior services working group include:  Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries, Ecumen, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network, Immanuel, Liberty Lutheran, Lutheran SeniorLife, Lutheran Services Carolinas, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, Lyngblomsten, National Lutheran Communities and Services, St. John’s Lutheran Ministries, SpriTrust Lutheran, Tabitha, and Twin Lakes Community.  

If you were not able to participate in the working sessions, several valuable resources have been produced to help LSA member organizations navigate the dramatic changes in business and care models that are occurring as a result of the Affordable Care Act.  These resources are available to LSA members only, on the LSA Web Portal.  For more information on this working group or to receive proprietary materials specifically developed for LSA please contact Alesia Frerichs, VP Member Engagement: afrerichs@lutheranservices.org, 202.544.5823

Resources developed specifically for LSA members include:

  • Post-Acute Care Future Trends/Needs/Opportunities – February 3, 2015. Commissioned by LSA, this analysis by Clifton Larson Allen, LLP provides an extensive overview of the changes and trends impacting post-acute care providers.
  • LSA Post-Acute Care Member Survey Detail April 2015, this document summarizes the survey of the LSA Post-Acute Care providers. Includes network assessment of data collection and benchmarking capabilities, clinical pathways and protocols, new care models, costs, shared services and EHR utilization.
  • Survey Results Summary. These are the summary survey results presented at the Post-Acute Care Session at the LSA Annual Conference in San Antonio on April 2015. This document highlights the survey results and discussion of the top 4 opportunities identified in the survey. This provides a “quick read” of survey results and topics discussed at this convening.
  • Post-Acute Care Opportunity Assessment – April 2015 Commissioned by LSA, this analysis by Clifton Larson Allen, LLP is related to the survey results and is a market scan of what others outside of the LSA network are doing in the 4 opportunity areas identified by survey respondents.

For more information on the senior services community of practice, please visit our website http://www.lutheranservices.org/seniorservices.

Comments

Thank you to everyone for coming together! It was a rich, energetic, substantive discussion. The research we've seen from CliftonLarsonAllen is eye opening. I greatly enjoyed the exchange of thoughts, perspectives, and ideas and look forward to continued exploration on how we can seize opportunities to transform elder health and wellness in our communities and this country. The country needs us!

Thank you LSA and CliftonLarsenAllen for bringing senior living providers together from around the country to brainstorm and work towards creating a new path for serving the needs of older adults.

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