On-site urgent care services have been growing in popularity in workplaces for some time, to the extent that occupational medicine is a substantial revenue stream for many urgent care businesses. Now some operators are seeing a similar opportunity in senior living communities. As noted in a recent entry on the Senior Housing News website, Christian Living Communities (CDC), which operates or manages assisted-living, memory care, and life plan communities in Colorado, Utah, and Missouri, brought in DispatchHealth to provide on-site urgent care services to curb emergency room visits by residents. Not only did the number of ED visits fall in short order, but CDC saw a 3% drop in resident turnover after DispatchHealth came on board. Now DispatchHealth, which was founded by an emergency physician who was struck by the number of senior living residents who came into the ED with complaints that could be handled on site with the proper resources, is looking to expand that business model to other senior living communities. At the same time, community operators are under increasing pressure to lower costs and provide higher-acuity health services on site.
Could ‘Residential Medicine’ Follow Occupational Medicine’s Trajectory?