The Finance Of Longevity

Trends That Will Shape Senior Care in 2020

Challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing industry

A new report from Health Dimensions Group identifies nine major industry issues and trends for 2020. Access the full report here.

MINNEAPOLIS (Dec.17, 2019) – Health Dimensions Group (HDG), a leading post-acute, long-term care, and senior living consulting and management firm recently published “2020 Top Trends In Aging Services: Preparing For Historic Changes,” a strategic resource for senior care organizations working to achieve success in the coming year.

As operators and consultants in post-acute, long-term care, and senior living, HDG is well versed in the challenges and opportunities in the rapidly changing industry. By recognizing these trends and understanding their impact, HDG helps clients craft solutions that meet the expectations of stakeholder groups and ensure long-term operational and financial success.

The “2020 Top Trends In Aging Services: Preparing For Historic Changes” white paper identifies nine major industry issues and trends for 2020: occupancy, census and growth challenges; operational, regulatory, and financial woes; escalating clinical care complexity; exceptional customer service experience requirements; increasing need for low- and middle-income senior services warp-speed technology changes; momentous workforce realities; evolving payment and reimbursement models and expanding partnerships.

To complement the white paper, HDG produced a supplemental webinar that expands on the information and findings. Individuals and media members can register and download the materials at HDG’s website free of charge.

Excerpts From 2020 Top Trends In Aging Services

TREND 1: Occupancy, Census and Growth Challenges
 The senior population continues to grow significantly, giving rise to increased interest in and expansion of senior housing options. Despite this growth, HDG anticipates continued significant challenges in senior living occupancy and skilled nursing census in the near term.

Total population in the United States is estimated at 332 million and has a projected increase of 7 percent over the next ten years. The senior population (age 65 and older) accounts for 17 percent of the total population in 2020, and is projected to account for 21 percent of the population in 2030. With the large anticipated growth, the need for senior services will increase accordingly. However, it should be noted the workforce population to care for the senior population will not keep pace. The 25-to-64 population will increase only 2 percent during the same time, and will even experience a decline in the 25–29, 50–54, 55–59, and 60–64 age cohorts.

TREND 2: Operational, Regulatory and Financial Woes
Today’s operating environment is proving difficult for many in the skilled nursing services arena. While new opportunities exist under the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) to develop additional clinical service lines, the reality remains that declining occupancies and extreme wage pressures are driving lower operating margins and placing many operators at risk.

And while the number of Special Focus Facilities (SFF) has declined since sequestration, this year’s public release of the more than 400 nursing homes selected as potential SFF candidates brought with it additional scrutiny if you are unfortunate enough to be among those providers. Add to that the 2019 introduction of the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) abuse icon designation on the Nursing Home Compare web site, and it is understandable how many providers may feel besieged. Rural operators are especially challenged as they lack the capacity to gain economies of scale while attempting to manage costs.

the workforce population to care for the senior population will not keep pace. The 25-to-64 population will increase only 2 percent during the same time, and will even experience a decline...

TREND 3: Escalating Clinical Care Complexity
Providers across the health care continuum are grappling with ways to innovate and stay relevant in today’s changing landscape. With the roll-out of the new Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) for home health, post-acute providers will now receive enhanced reimbursement for the care and services delivered to a more clinically complex population. These changes in Medicare reimbursement will likely entice providers to expand their clinical capabilities in areas such as complex wound care, dialysis, and respiratory therapy in order to get a stronger foothold in capturing additional hospital downstream referrals.

As providers contemplate these strategies, it is important to keep in mind the availability of trained and clinically competent staff, as well as the potential for negative impact on star ratings if these new service modalities are not rolled out correctly.

Access the full report here.




About Health Dimensions Group: Minneapolis-based Health Dimensions Group (HDG) is a leading consulting and management firm, providing services to post-acute, long-term care, and senior living providers as well as hospitals and health systems across the nation. HDG has been serving health care organizations for more than 20 years with a firm commitment to its values of hospitality, stewardship, integrity, respect, and humor.
For additional information about Health Dimensions Group, visit, call 763.537.5700, or email