This article is from McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and written by Kimberly Marselas on April 1, 2021.
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Before the COVID-19 crisis, Allaire Health Services served a mix of rehab patients, individuals with medically complex conditions ranging from traumatic brain injury to congestive heart failure, and long-term care residents.

Four facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania featured amenities such as private suites, gleaming rehab gyms and spaces dedicated to relearning activities of daily living. Respiratory therapists and wound care specialists directed therapies using equipment more commonplace in hospitals.

Over the last year, the upscale chain’s emphasis on clinical staffing and subacute recovery became lifesavers — both for patients who would continue to fill beds throughout much of the last year and for the business itself.

“Change is the one thing that’s consistent in healthcare,” CEO and Founder Ben Kurland said. “We try to gear everything that we do in our centers to the population that we’re dealing with, and we work with our local community, our local hospitals, to see what they need from us.”

For Allaire, existing relationships and new collaborations led to significant growth despite COVID-19. By early this year, the chain had nearly doubled in size, adding a facility each in New Jersey, New York and Vermont. Pennsylvania health officials also tapped Allaire to run a facility overrun by COVID-19.

While much of the industry found itself hobbled by low occupancy and sustained consumer fears, providers focused on intense rehabilitation and transitional care were typically better prepared to pivot. That’s largely because they were able to demonstrate their value to upstream providers in need of reliable outlets for step-down patients.

“There’s no question,” said Bob Kramer, co-founder and former CEO of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care. “Specialized clinical programs working in conjunction with health systems … are seeing real pick up and real demand of a sort they weren’t before.”

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