As 2018 comes to a close, it’s important to take inventory of the factors that will affect the aging services industry and the marketing thereof in the year ahead. Many new trends are emerging while existing ones gain momentum. Take a look at these five ways marketing in the aging services industry may change in 2019:
The Silver Tsunami. Many might argue that the silver tsunami – the aging baby boomer population – is the trend that will have the most significant impact on the aging services industry. Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies reported that more than half of U.S. households are headed by someone over the age of 50. This will mean more full beds in existing facilities and accelerated senior housing development in urban areas. However, it may lead to issues for the millions of seniors living in low-density areas where new senior housing development has all but halted. This means organizations and marketers will need to develop new approaches to meeting their needs.
Continuing Labor and Workforce Difficulties. The Health Dimensions group asserts that “health care providers will continue to see increasing staffing challenges, workforce shortages, wage and benefit costs, and employment law enforcement.” They continue by suggesting that workforce analytic technology, combined with good leadership, will be the remedy to these difficulties. Marketers can play a role both by helping promote this technology and by strategizing to make organizations look more appealing to potential talent.
The Continued Emergence of Home Care. Family Nursing & Care CEO Neal Kursban predicts that “In 2019, older adults and their families will start viewing private-duty home care in a new way. In the past, [it’s been] considered a luxury. Now, it has become a necessity.” This can be attributed to several components, including:
• New technologies easing the administering and continuance of care
• The aforementioned shortage of senior housing in low-density areas
• The high cost of many senior living facilities
• Medicare Advantage programs reimbursing home care
This means that the realm of home care will likely provide many new opportunities for marketers in the year ahead.
Value-Based Payment. According to Julie Smith, CEO of HomeWatch Caregivers, “The values-based payment mindset that is integrated into the Affordable Care Act will further elevate organizations that focus on person-directed care, demonstrate the outcomes of their care, and leverage client and caregiver systems toward interoperability with referral sources and payers.” To that end, in March of 2019 the 1,700+ group practices and health systems that signed up for the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI-A) must decide whether to keep the diagnostic categories they selected in October of 2018, and marketers must adjust accordingly.
Rural Provider Innovation. As has been discussed, rural organizations will face multifaceted challenges in 2019. However, some of the greatest modern innovations have resulted from adversity. The Health Dimensions Group predicts that “Successful rural SNFs will lead the charge towards innovation in revenue and service line development, new staffing models, and partnerships with other providers.” So too will rural marketers need to innovate to and meet the challenges presented by a shifting and tumultuous landscape.
Keep these five predictions in mind and let them help you make 2019 your best year yet!