Thursday, October 31, 2013

Intriguing Concept: On-Line Objective Data for Comparisons in Senior Living Options

Part of my recent legal research and writing focuses on state regulation, accountability, and resident rights at Continuing Care Retirement Communities or CCRCs.  In one of my early articles I wrote about  what I thought might be a niche for elder law attorneys who could advise prospective CCRC residents about the ins and outs of CCRCs, particularly on contracting issues. 

Turns out a Financial Planner and CPA have decided to make a business out of offering advice to consumers on CCRCs. Recently I had the chance to talk to Brad Breeding (the financial planner) and Ken Taylor (the accountant).  The idea started when they were getting questions from clients about CCRCs near their base in North Carolina and realized there was a wider consumer market for critical information. In 2009 they started working on a web-based consulting tool for prospective CCRC residents and others who are thinking about retirement options.   

The resulting company is LifeSite Logics, offering "a central database of objective data" about CCRCs across the country.  Sounds like Brad and Ken have the start on a strong data set, and are already offering comparable data on several hundred CCRCs.  The search price is about $40.  Most important, the two seem determined to stay objective about their data points; they report they aren't backed by any CCRC operators or developers.     

In addition, their LifeSite Logics website offers some free background and educational documents on CCRCS, including some information on contract (A, B, C or "other")  types.  

I have to say I've often thought "A, B & C"  labels are potentially confusing to the public.  This is  especially true for the financial risks assoicated with "refundable fee" contracts which may  look to the average consumer like "life-care" contracts that are usually associated with the "A" label, but are closer to "Type C" fee-for-service contracts when carefully analyzed.  Further, these letters are not "grades" for the facilities or contract types, another point of potential confusion.   

Good luck, Ken and Brad, on a promising start for what looks to be a very consumer-friendly product.  

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/elder_law/2013/10/intriguing-concept-on-line-objective-data-for-comparisons-in-senior-living-options.html

Consumer Information, Health Care/Long Term Care, Housing | Permalink

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Comments

This sounds like a fantastic resource. I’m wondering how financial data is obtained from CCRCs in states that don’t require disclosure, but I’ll try to probe into this. It might be a good tool for residents already in CCRCs who ask, unsuccessfully, for disclosure. Maybe they can find out about their own CCRC. We’ll see.
I’ll also be interested in seeing if the “fee for service” Catch 22 of a Type A contract is outlined in this objective search service. Example: the health aide service for custodial care in a resident’s independent living residence. Even if the Type A CCRC has licensed personnel to provide this service, I’m pretty sure it’s outside of the Type A contract and provided on a fee-for-service basis. Someone who cancelled a LTC Insurance once s/he moved onto a Life Care campus may regret that decision, if the now-cancelled policy covered “home health.”

Posted by: Jennifer | Oct 31, 2013 7:44:12 AM

KP,
Great blog post. Your 2006 article accurately anticipated the growing need for legal advice regarding CCRCs, and seven years later, the need is even greater.
I lead a team of financial professional in the Washington DC area that serves seniors through the varying stages of independence and care, and I truly value my elder law colleagues that can successfully navigate the intricacies of CCRCs. As CCRCs begin to more assertively move into different community based care models, the growing need for this legal expertise is certain. Brad and Ken’s Lifesite Logistics offering is top flight and truly unbiased,and I consider it an invaluable resource for legal and financial professionals alike.

Posted by: Tom West | Nov 9, 2013 1:39:21 PM

In one-on-one correspondence with this outfit, I learned that they glean financial data from CCRCs in states that require disclosure. This means those of us in states that don't require disclosure, or require it only of the Type A communities, are still in a quandary.

Posted by: Jennifer | Nov 14, 2013 6:45:59 AM

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