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3 leading WNY not-for-profit senior care providers join forces in Lineage Care Group strategic alliance

Press Release

Mon, Mar 13th 2023 12:50 pm

Niagara Lutheran Health System (parent of The GreenFields Continuing Care Community), Schofield Care and Weinberg Campus have taken a significant step forward in their growing partnership. The three not-for-profit senior care providers announced that Weinberg Campus has joined the Lineage Care Group strategic alliance, which was first announced by Niagara Lutheran and Schofield Care in 2021. This new entity will operate as a passive super parent organization to help oversee strategy and operations and create efficiencies, paving the way for an active parent arrangement.

A press release noted, “The unique strategic alliance aims to strengthen all three organizations and position them for future growth. The partnership is rooted in an effort to improve the quality and clinical scope of senior care in Western New York.”

“This innovative nonprofit affiliation model will ensure patient-focused care remains at the core of our collective mission, provided by individuals who live in, and are invested in, the local community, while maintaining decades of historic care by these organizations,” said Christopher Koenig, president and CEO of Niagara Lutheran Health System and Schofield Care, speaking on behalf of the three organizations.

Koenig said the affiliation will empower the partners of Lineage Care Group to deliver high-quality care more efficiently through the sharing of clinical guidelines and professional expertise, optimization of human resources, maximization of Medicaid reimbursement, and the reduction of combined overhead costs.

The full continuum of services now provided by Lineage Care Group includes skilled nursing, certified and licensed home health care, adult day care, assisted living, memory care, independent senior housing, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, traumatic brain injuries, veterans’ care, hospice care, and palliative care.

Not only do Lineage Care Group partners plan to solidify their respective finances going forward, but the goal is to expand this new collaboration's reach to welcome other similarly situated partners as an alternative to sale or closure, providing a template for other organizations to emulate. This will help provide an alternative to the trend of nonprofit care providers selling to for-profit, out-of-town chains.

“This nonprofit collaboration model provides greater benefits to the residents and community than the for-profit alternative,” Weinberg Campus President/CEO Robert Mayer said. “Free of the financial obligation to generate returns for investors, nonprofit senior care organizations are able to reinvest their profits into their operations and communities, leading to superior clinical outcomes, more satisfied employees, and enhanced patient and community welfare.”

The press release added, “Increasing financial pressures throughout the industry have led to the closure or sale of many of New York state’s nonprofit skilled nursing facilities over the past five years. Although each of the three organizations comprising Lineage Care Group has managed to stay ahead of this trend, a proactive approach is needed to ensure financial viability into the future.

“Other benefits of the partnership include economies of scale gained by combining networks to help eliminate duplicative costs and services, along with increased purchasing power and leverage in contract negotiations. It will also result in increased competitiveness as a major employer through improved training and education, new career ladders, and enhanced human resources initiatives and recruitment for positions at all levels.

“The three partnering organizations all have rich and diverse histories, and each is a prime example of how mission-driven, nonprofit senior care campuses and skilled nursing homes can benefit the entire community. All three organizations are committed to providing high-quality, efficient, and cost-conscious care that improves the health of the populations they serve.

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