PHI Blog: Green House Model Is Comparable in Costs to Traditional Nursing Homes, Studies

Published On: October 27th, 2011By Categories: Uncategorized

Posted 10/27/2011 PHI Blog
Just as the Green House Project® announced the completion of the nation’s 100th Green House home in September, Seniors Home & Care Journal published an article concluding that the Green House model’s operations are “comparable in cost to traditional nursing homes as well as nursing homes that are implementing other culture change practices.”
The article, “Financial Implications of The Green House Model,” explains that several published studies have already shown that the Green House Model of licensed nursing homes “provides significant and sustained satisfaction and clinical improvements when compared to traditional nursing homes,” but that questions remain as to the model’s initial and long-term financial viability.
The authors review past studies on the financial performance of the Green House Model and report on two recent studies that look at the 1) costs of Green House administration and organizational staffing, and 2) environmental costs, overall financial performance, and benchmarks of Green House homes.
The first study found that the total estimated personnel costs of the Green House homes and traditional models are “essentially equal.”
While there is an increase in the number of full-time direct employees in the Green House homes compared with traditional facilities, this increase is offset by a reduction in the number of both administrative and support staff (housekeeping, laundry, and food service staff), the authors report.
Shahbazims’ Larger Role Reduces Other Costs
In the Greenhouse model, the certified nurse assistants known as Shahbazim are responsible for the tasks of these support staff in addition to their typical direct-care duties.
The authors attribute the reduction in administrative full-time employees to the increased role of both the nursing staff and the Shahbazim who coordinate care and maintain patient records in the Green House model rather than having unit secretaries or charge nurses do so.
The second study compares the overall costs — including food costs, plant operations, ancillary costs and administrative expenses — of Green House homes to traditional nursing homes. It also compares their capital costs, both per square foot and per unit.
In this study, the authors conclude that the capital costs of the Green House homes are equivalent or less than similar culture change models but higher than traditional facility designs. They note that the increased occupancy and more private-pay days that are associated with the Green House model may offset these capital costs.
Tripling the Number of Green House Homes
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a partner of the Green House Project, announced the organizations’ mutual goal of tripling the number of Green House homes in the next three years.
PHI, also a partner with the Green House Project, has worked with the project to imbed its Coaching ApproachSM in the educational offerings for all Green House staff, including the formal leadership team, nurses, and the self-managed work team of Shahbazim.
– by Deane Beebe