Presbyterian Homes and Services Furthers Recovery, Seeks New Markets for Senior Living Growth

Presbyterian Homes and Services Furthers Recovery, Seeks New Markets for Senior Living Growth

Presbyterian Homes and Services is examining potential new markets for future growth as its recovery journey continues into this year.

Presbyterian Homes and Services is making strides in its recovery journey as occupancy improves while staffing issues remain the biggest challenge for the nonprofit senior living operator. Presbyterian, also known as PHS, is based in Roseville, Minnesota operating over 60 communities in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The organization reported 92% occupancy across its communities, with some variation among care types, according to Senior Vice President Mike Bingham. Staffing remains the strongest headwind to the organization’s ongoing recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, he noted.

Typically, PHS opens multiple new communities in a given year. Even with challenging interest rates and construction costs, the organization is looking to expand into non-Midwestern states in the future, Bingham said. The organization has identified approximately five new market areas for potential future expansion.

“We’re spending a lot of time looking at what are the other best markets to be in,” Bingham said. “We’d like to move to a market that isn’t as penetrated as some of the Western markets are so we’re going to have more upside.”

In the meantime, PHS is renovating common spaces in communities that is “a lot of catch up” from the pandemic when construction crews couldn’t get into buildings to make capital improvements, Bingham said.

PHS is also in the process of revamping aspects of its independent living services by adding care and therapy components.

PHS owns and operates home care, pharmacy and hospice services on top of its senior living communities, and Bingham noted that allows the nonprofit to capture Medicare reimbursement more broadly.

“We have a much more robust negotiating position with insurance companies because we are adding more value to them,” Bingham added. “We’re investing a lot in pharmacy and thinking about predictive analytics and how we customize our pharmacy program and meet the long-term care needs of the individual. People trust the PHS brand and we can deliver better care.”

With its communities offering a full continuum of services, Bingham said home care offerings continue to be a high priority as older adults wait longer to enter senior living communities. That’s the start of assessing older adults sooner, familiarizing them with the PHS brand and sets the stage for move-ins.

Home health care services are now offered to PHS independent living residents in the goal of providing needed care at a lower-acuity offering like independent living, Bingham said.

Recently, PHS started investing in life enrichment and family engagement software that is currently being rolled out across its portfolio, along with improving aspects of the organization’s dinging platform. That will improve customer service to residents, Bingham noted. Powered by Microsoft Business Intelligence, PHS is monitoring real-time operational data from communities to make decisions to improve operations.

“We’re creating these dashboards that people leaders can use to really understand what they’re managing in the business,” Bingham said.

The data initiative coincides with an emphasis on middle-management career path development to improve retention and improve operations of communities long-term, Bingham said. With a strong pipeline for finding nursing talent from the Philippines, Bingham said PHS could extend that program.

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