How to Manage Third Parties

Seniors Housing Business

Balfour Senior Living offers home healthcare and home care to residents through outside providers, which are tightly managed by Balfour. Headquartered in Louisville, Colorado, Balfour is a developer, owner and operator.

Six Balfour properties are open and three are under construction. All of the properties are located in Colorado, except for one under construction in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Last year, Balfour initiated a strict list of requirements for outside service providers. The new rules reflect an effort to address a problem faced by many assisted living providers — that they can be held responsible for the work of third-party companies. Complaints or problems with outside providers can also reflect poorly on the assisted living company, sources say.

“We work with 15 home health companies,” says Michael Schonbrun, founder and CEO at Balfour. He admits the company had previously been somewhat lax about who was working in the buildings. Now outside providers must pass drug tests and criminal background checks. A certain level of insurance is also required. “If they want to serve our residents, they must live by these standards,” says Schonbrun. “We allow zero exceptions.”

Balfour generates no revenue from the services. A rehabilitation service rents space in several communities, which produces a small income, says Schonbrun.

Friendship Senior Options, a nonprofit owner and operator based in Schaumburg, Illinois, offers an in-house home care service. The organization operates two continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs): Friendship Village and Greenfields of Geneva, both in the Chicago area.

Home healthcare, therapy and hospice services are provided by third-party companies. Friendship Senior Options partners with Amita Health, which leases space at the property for a geriatric clinic that is open to the public.

The in-house home care agency works mostly with residents of independent living apartments, providing help with the activities of daily living. The services are only available to residents of the two Friendship campuses, which together have a total of about 600 residents.

Approximately 100 to 120 residents purchase home care services. Residents pay for the services they receive.

Like many other senior living providers, Friendship Senior Options doesn’t consider ancillary services to be a revenue driver. “We just cover our costs,” says Ben Gilchrist, vice president of operations at Friendship Senior Options. “It’s a service to maintain quality of life so independent living residents can stay in their apartments.”

More Service, Please – Seniors Housing Business

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