Senior Living Census Enhancement: How to Grow Your Community Measurably and Profitably

Apr 16, 2014 | Marketing & Branding

What can I do to increase my census? And how can I make sure I’m growing in a profitable way?

These are important questions that many, if not most, senior living leaders are asking themselves today.

The Profitable Growth Imperative

With a slow recovering economy and an increasingly competitive senior housing environment, census growth with sustainable profitability is a priority challenge for all senior living leaders today. The job is made even more difficult by the fact that senior living providers face the double-edged sword of having to control costs while also boosting occupancy in services that add revenue to the bottom line. This is especially true for providers whose offerings include skilled nursing services, as federal reimbursements are becoming even tighter. Despite the magnitude of the challenge, a busy, thriving community is fundamental to your organization’s present and future success.

A Proven Approach to Census Growth

Leading senior living growth consultants that operate exclusively in the senior living space, such as LTC LINK Elite award winner SageAge Strategies, have a unique understanding of your strategic and operational environment, and provide meaningful insight, knowledge-based guidance and proven solutions that can help you grow. At SageAge, for example, we excel in evidence-based census enhancement strategy. In recent years, we have helped many of our client-partners not only build their traditional census, but identify new service opportunities that have even greater market and reimbursement potential. We help you grow your census and also ensure that your business is growing in the right areas, from both a service demand and profitability perspective.

Our proven Census and Reimbursement Enhancement program represents a best-practice process that enables you to:

  • Increase admissions through effective partnerships with local hospitals and other sources of referral
  • Increase lengths of stay and limit hospital readmissions or emergency room visits by implementing a cost-effective change in care management
  • Assure that your resources are focused on profitable, high-demand growth services
  • Improve and maintain a positive perception of your programs and services with hospital admission staff using proven tips and techniques. Improve your processes and procedures, by learning the best efficiency and effectiveness techniques to ensure the timely sale and occupancy of units
  • Streamline your admissions process to increase efficiency, effectiveness and improve all aspects of customer service
  • Ensure your clinical documentation and processes support the services you are providing residents to meet their needs

A Record of Success with Valued Client-Partners 

SageAge Strategies prides itself on the successful, long-term nature of many of our client partnerships. Featuring an experienced, award-winning team of operations, planning and marketing professionals, we have been highly successful in partnering with senior living providers to develop and implement growth strategies that result in:

  • Rapid census enhancement
  • Identifying new opportunities for profitable services and sources of revenue
  • Establishing or improving social media strategies that increase customer engagement and contacts
  • Maximizing return on your current sales and marketing budget
  • Improving sales techniques and customer-centered service
  • Cutting costs by reducing excess programming and capacity
  • Optimizing your value proposition to consumers and the value of your brand in the marketplace
  • Improving resident/family satisfaction
  • Enhancing your facility’s aesthetics and customer appeal
  • Maximizing your operational performance and efficiency

Boylston Place at Chestnut Hill: A Successful Partnership in Census Enhancement

SageAge recently partnered with Boylston Place at Chestnut Hill to assist their leadership in growing their assisted living census. Owned and operated by EPOCH Senior Living, Boylston Place provides traditional independent living and assisted living services in one of Massachusetts’ most exclusive and picturesque towns.

In January of 2013, Boylston Place’s assisted living census had plateaued at 41 out of a total 48 suites. Despite the relatively small number of unfilled apartments, the shortfall was significant for the financial stability of the small community due to the amount of fixed overhead.

Working hand-in-hand with Boylston Place leadership, SageAge led the creation and implementation of a multi-faceted strategy that addressed several key points of influence including community events and outreach; collateral materials, advertising strategy, direct mail, sales leadership and rate structure. Specifically, the census enhancement plan featured:

  • Rebranding collateral materials to move away from straight assisted living to incorporate independent living as a point of differentiation with competitors
  • Planning engaging, lifestyle-highlighting events, and providing eye-catching creative materials to promote them – including a dinner series and a lifelong learning series
  • Increasing their advertising and implementing a “differentiation series” of postcards addressing the three most common objections heard during the discovery process
  • Helping to recruit and train a Community Sales Director, assisting in setting goals and objectives and managing accountability
  • Revising the community’s rate structure to enable Boylston Place to be more competitive.
  • Conducting weekly calls to assist the community’s team in implementing the strategic initiatives. 

The census building strategy proved very successful in filling the remaining suites. Within months, the census at Boylston Place at Chestnut Hill had risen to 47 and the community’s financial position was strengthened significantly.

Your Census Improvements Can Begin Today

Often conducted in conjunction with strategic growth planning, market feasibility studies, demand analysis and competitive analysis, census enhancement strategies can make a significant difference in your community’s profitability, brand equity and long-term viability.  

If you are a senior living provider considering assistance in growing your census and cultivating new profitable service opportunities, be sure to look for an experienced organization that operates exclusively in the unique senior living marketplace and has the specialized expertise, extensive experience and award-winning results to succeed. Our experienced team of operations and marketing professionals will help you create a census enhancement strategy that is sustainable for your community and leverages all opportunities for additional sources of customers and revenue growth.

For more information, contact us today at 570-601-1720.

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