Nontraditional nursing homes have almost no coronavirus cases. Why aren’t they more widespread?

The [Green House] model has been praised by academics and doctors and seems far better suited than traditional facilities to stave off the spread of infection and the isolation that has devastated the elderly in recent months. But it remains on the fringes of a $137 billion industry. As of this year, the 2,500 Green House residents represent just 0.2 percent of the 1.3 million nursing home residents nationwide. Of the 10 largest nursing home chains in the country, which collectively operate 2,000 facilities, none have adopted the Green House model.

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  • “There is always going to be a portion of people who require maybe a more intensive level of care and also always a proportion of people who would prefer to receive care in a communal setting. How are you setting yourself up to be that provider of choice in a market where maybe there’s less global demand for nursing home beds, but people want privacy, people want to really know their caregivers?”

  • “The evidence so far is that the staff is significantly more engaged with residents, avoidable hospitalizations and readmission rates are lower, and family satisfaction is higher. Perhaps most surprising to those who focus on costs, both interventions saw operating margins and market position tick up.”

  • “Most people with ALS want to stay home rather than suffer the indignity of moving to a traditional nursing home. I hope for a world in which the Leonard Florence Center for Living is the standard of care in America.”

  • “We have seen significant positive outcomes with this model of care, and I really think it is the empowered staff and the meaningful life focus that we have at the Green House home that contributes to keeping our staff, having our staff engaged, and really having them feel like they are the key in that relationship.”