INNOVATION SPOTLIGHT, TOM DEROSA, CEO & DIRECTOR, WELLTOWER
Welltower is a Leader in Healthcare Infrastructure
Welltower™ delivers the health care infrastructure necessary to facilitate better treatment at lower costs and keep patients out of the hospital. Their business is centered on a relationship-based investing platform. Welltower provides real estate capital to leading seniors housing operators, post-acute care providers and health systems. Companies utilize this capital to grow, innovate and ultimately provide better care.
Welltower has become known for its unparalleled relationship network and premier-quality health care real estate portfolio. Owning the finest assets and working with the best health care providers is simple in concept, but demanding in execution. Over more than 40 years of exclusively investing in health care, Welltower has built unique capabilities and the industry’s best team.
We sat down with d.health 2016 speaker Tom DeRosa, CEO & Director of Welltower to learn more about how they are transforming the way we look at Aging in Place.
Why are you and Welltower participating in the d.health Summit 2016?
Society is challenged to manage the needs of the world’s aging population. To deliver better care at lower cost, health care must transition from a hospital-centric system to a networked model of higher impact outpatient and post-acute care settings and seniors housing communities that help people live better as they age. Welltower is an essential partner in transforming seniors housing and health care infrastructure to promote wellness and drive innovation across the care continuum. We’re here to promote dialog on these issues and help create a more connected health care system.
Tell us your disruptive innovation story. What is Welltower working on that will change the game for healthcare and/or for Aging Americans?
We invest in innovative senior living and memory care communities that redefine the concept of home and promote wellness through social interaction, nutrition and mobility. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s yet, our partners are enabling advances in memory care that improve the quality of life of sufferers of this devastating disease and their families. We also partner with health systems to develop next-generation outpatient medical centers and post-acute rehab facilities to provide better treatment, faster recovery and a superior patient experience compared to high-cost acute care.
What do you see as the single most untapped opportunity in healthcare today?
Technology solutions provide a partial answer but we also need to look at connected health systems and physical surroundings. For example, a resident at a senior living community could have a knee replaced at a state of the art outpatient medical facility and travel a half-mile down the road to receive excellent post-acute care—avoiding the acute-care setting entirely—for faster recovery and an enhanced patient experience at lower cost. Such a template exists but needs to be scaled and extended into communities by bringing together innovative partners, ideas and capital.
What do you see as the biggest obstacle to improving healthcare for Aging Americans?
Without a doubt, the cost. The exponential growth of the aging population will create huge financial stresses on the health system as well as high out-of-pocket fees for patients. The current care delivery models, infrastructure and reimbursement systems will need to evolve if we want patients to benefit from access to affordable and high-quality healthcare. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, for example, caregivers face the possibility of significant financial and emotional burdens. They give up time at work to care for a loved one, and have few options to pay for optimal care outside the home.
Paint us a picture of the healthcare delivery system for Aging Americans 5 years from today?
The healthcare system will need to adjust to better meet evolving patient needs and move from a high-cost hospital-based model to an integrated, connected outpatient care model. But we also need to look at a broader societal mindset shift and accommodate changes in our communities and in the workforce. This would help to keep our aging population actively engaged and making positive contributions, while reducing social isolation.
About Tom DeRosa
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