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The Benefits of Integrating Value-Based Care in Senior Living Communities

Published on September 12, 2023 by Sharon Morrisette

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The healthcare landscape is rapidly changing. Increasingly, older adults are seeking home care that respects their need for community, independence, and overall well-being. Now, senior living providers are tasked with caring for an aging population with needs beyond mere accommodation.

At the heart of this shift lies value-based care – an approach aligning payments with quality and performance, ensuring optimal outcomes for seniors. 

Far from a passing trend, a value-based approach is likely to be the future of senior care. The 2023 NIC Spring Conference highlighted the potential of senior living communities to incorporate healthcare services effectively. By prioritizing both clinical and non-clinical aspects, the emphasis is now on “whole-person” care – a comprehensive approach addressing every facet of a senior’s life from medical needs to social engagements.

With the diverse range of senior living options available – from independent living to specialized memory care – it’s evident that providers using value-based models will set the gold standard for the industry. Technological solutions like Smartcare will be central to aiding this transition.

What is value-based care?

Historically, the healthcare model predominantly functioned on a fee-for-service basis, with providers earning based on the volume of services rendered. This meant higher earnings with more procedures, services, and billed materials. 

Conversely, value-based care introduces an approach where payments correlate directly with care quality and outcomes. Under this model, senior living providers benefit financially when they enhance their residents’ health, mitigate chronic disease impacts, and guide individuals towards evidence-backed healthier lifestyles.

Why value-based care is superior to the traditional model

At first glance, the conventional fee-for-service method seems logical. We apply this model when purchasing various goods and services, from car repairs to grocery shopping. 

However, this approach doesn’t always align with optimizing outcomes for seniors. Ultimately, the fee-for-service approach promotes reactionary care and often accelerates transitions to advanced levels of care.

Value-based care inspires providers to prioritize the quality of any care being delivered and its eventual outcomes. They become more proactive, identifying and resolving minor issues before they escalate. 

This is the essence of value-based care: a proactive approach ensuring better outcomes and rewarding optimal results.

The rise of value-based care in senior living

Group of smiling senior people dancing while enjoying activities in retirement home

The trend toward value-based care models is more than just a fleeting phase. It represents a radical change in approach that prioritizes genuine resident outcomes over the quantity (and frequency) of services provided. 

The development of this model is in sync with the expectations of the growing senior generation who are seeking more from their golden years – aging in place with a blend of healthcare, personal care, support for independent living, companionship, community, and overall well-being. 

Here are some of the reasons why this integration is gaining traction:

Emphasis on quality over quantity 

Instead of simply tallying the services rendered, value-based care stresses the importance of delivering positive outcomes. It aligns incentives and rewards providers based on the measurable health benefits residents gain.

Financial incentives for better outcomes 

Under this model, the focus is on the “value” residents derive from the care they receive. This means better outcomes, increased satisfaction, and potential savings on system-wide costs.

Integration of health and social care 

Beyond traditional medical attention, value-based care encompasses a broader spectrum of senior health, touching on non-clinical factors that promote longevity, activity, and overall well-being.

Competitive advantage 

By incorporating value-based care, senior living communities stand out. They are poised to offer an enhanced, holistic care experience, distinguishing themselves from competitors still tethered to older models of care.

The importance of a holistic approach 

Whole-person care is a comprehensive approach that recognizes the vast spectrum of a senior’s needs, including emotional and social requirements. While medical attention remains vital, non-clinical factors – such as daily social interactions, mental stimulation, support with ADLs, and environmental comfort – are equally impactful in fostering senior health.

Emotional well-being, social connectivity, and daily activities play crucial roles in the overall health of seniors. Loneliness, a lack of routine, or a sense of purposelessness can lead to declining mental health, which in turn affects physical health.

Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) facilitate this holistic approach, shifting focus from isolated medical care to an integrated ecosystem. HCBS offers a range of services, from assistance with daily activities to recreational programs, ensuring seniors not only live but thrive in their communities. Furthermore, such services promote independence and autonomy for seniors, giving them a sense of purpose and belonging. 

In a world where value-based care is becoming increasingly necessary, embracing a holistic methodology is essential.

How to integrate value-based care into your senior living business

For senior living communities, the value-based care approach offers a holistic experience where seniors can thrive, leading to improved health outcomes. Furthermore, rather than being costly, studies have actually shown that such care models lead to financial savings. 

Embracing technology is crucial for the successful integration of value-based care. Digital platforms not only facilitate seamless data collection and secure communication but also empower providers with real-time resident outcome monitoring, highlighting any care discrepancies. 

Modern tools, from electronic health records to wearables monitoring health metrics, serve as conduits between care providers and actionable data. 

Smartcare is an all-in-one software platform (that integrates with many senior living platforms, such as PointClickCare) that can help you implement a value-based care model efficiently and cost-effectively. Here’s how:

Data-driven insights

team discussing data

Value-based care relies heavily on effectively utilizing data to derive meaningful and actionable insights. By understanding residents’ health trends, care providers can tailor their methods and interventions to yield the most beneficial outcomes. 

Smartcare’s customizable KPI dashboards are advanced tools designed to present data in a format that caregivers and administrators can immediately interpret and act upon to make timely care (and business) decisions. 

Moreover, with the integration of real-time feedback and a comprehensive view of a resident’s history, Smartcare ensures that care plans evolve in tandem with each resident’s current health status.

Effective communication

Communication plays a pivotal role in ensuring comprehensive health and well-being for senior residents, binding every care stakeholder together. Caregivers, administrators, residents and their families must have a transparent medium to exchange information and stay updated on care progress and developing needs.

Smartcare’s communication tools, including the Client and Family Portal, keep the entire triangle of care connected and informed, in real-time. 

Through the secure, HIPAA-compliant, online portal – accessible via computer, tablet, or mobile device – they can review schedules, add and review care documentation, track spending, and much more. 

In value-based care, where the focus is squarely on the resident’s holistic well-being, seamless communication becomes even more critical. Smartcare ensures that no detail is lost in transit, fostering an environment of trust, clarity, and collaboration.

Caregiver training and development

The successful implementation of value-based care is contingent upon the proficiency and expertise of caregivers. To ensure that caregivers are always updated with the latest best practices in senior care, Smartcare has made strategic partnerships with industry leaders like CareAcademy and Nevvon

These integrated platforms within Smartcare’s ecosystem offer tailored courses and training modules, enabling caregivers to elevate their skills and knowledge. 

This holistic approach to training ensures caregivers are always primed to deliver the highest standards of care, aligning perfectly with the goals of value-based care.

Individualized care plans 

At the core of value-based care is the need for personalized care plans. These prioritize the unique health and well-being needs of each individual, ensuring that the care they receive is both targeted, timely, and effective. 

Smartcare caters to these essential needs with features like its detailed care plan modules and scheduling tools. These aid in creating specialized care regimes that cater to each senior’s specific requirements and ensure they are always delivered on time. 

Updated in real-time, care plans can be made accessible to caregivers, residents, and their families through Smartcare’s Client and Family Portal. This ensures that a caregiver, whether they’re on the move or with the resident, is always equipped with the most recent and relevant information. 

Furthermore, with the ability to clock in and out of shifts and access company documents on their phones, caregivers are better equipped to adapt and evolve care strategies based on real-time feedback, ensuring optimal outcomes for every individual in their care.

Efficient resource planning and allocation  

Ensuring the right resources are available at the precise moments they’re most needed is essential for value-based care. 

Smartcare, with its fully integrated suite of tools, revolutionizes this facet of care, providing crucial insights that help senior living providers understand care patterns, optimize schedules, and anticipate needs. 

These insights, coupled with a simplified back office, allow for a streamlined administrative process. This seamless coordination means that providers can significantly reduce redundancies and ensure the optimal utilization of caregiver skills and time, leading to improved outcomes.

Empowered decision making


Value-based care rests upon care providers having access to accurate and timely information so they can make informed choices. Smartcare’s Point of Care Mobile App provides them with real-time access to their schedules, task details, and care recipient information. 

Caregivers receive real-time schedule updates and can easily track their tasks and residents’ data, promoting transparency and enhancing decision making. This means caregivers are always well-informed about their daily responsibilities, ensuring they can provide personalized care that aligns with each resident’s unique needs and preferences.

Secure data management 

The security of resident data cannot be overstated, especially in the context of value-based care, where personalized strategies hinge on detailed personal information. That’s why Smartcare’s state-of-the-art security measures include secure, cloud-based HIPAA-compliance tools

Not only does the system ensure that the stored data is safeguarded against potential breaches, but it also meticulously manages user permissions. With Smartcare, only authorized individuals (whether caregivers, residents, or administrative staff) can access specific data sets. 

Smartcare Software – adding value to your senior living business

As the home- and community-based care industry expands, value-based care is set to become the new foundation for the holistic well-being of our aging population. 

This model paves the way for superior outcomes, increased resident engagement and satisfaction, and innovative revenue diversification. 

Senior living providers keen on leading this transformation will find immense value in harnessing the right technology tools. 

By integrating Smartcare’s comprehensive toolset, providers can meet and even exceed the standards set by value-based care, offering unparalleled service and outcomes to their residents and families. 

Discover the capabilities of Smartcare firsthand – reach out to us or schedule your demo today.