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Welltower & CareMore Partner to Improve Senior Housing Care

Zacks Equity Research

Welltower, Inc. WELL recently teamed up with CareMore, in a bid to integrate senior housing with the Medicare Advantage landscape. Initially, CareMore’s onsite care models and clinical programs will be introduced at Welltower communities in Los Angeles and Orange County in collaboration with the REIT’s operating partners SRG Senior Living and Belmont Village.

Following the implementation of the programs in these two markets, the companies intend to explore options to expand the partnership by adding other markets, operators and care levels.

The initiative is expected to improve health-care coordination and outcomes for senior housing residents. This, in turn, is anticipated to reduce hospitalizations and cost of care, while increasing length of stay for senior housing populations living in these communities.

In addition, the partnership will provide residents in the facilities access to Medicare Advantage institutional special needs plans (I-SNP), which will be offered through CareMore's partnering health plans. These special need plans will deliver and manage care for patients.

In fact, residents enrolled in the CareMore program will have access to CareMore's mobile clinical-care team, including nurses, doctors, case managers, pharmacists, behavioral health specialists and clinical coordinators among others.

Through the collaboration of Welltower’s premium operator platform and CareMore outstanding care-based navigational tools and programs, the companies are well poised to deliver efficient on-site care to residents.

Notably, by linking CareMore with operators in its portfolio, Welltower is driving vertical integration and making senior living an integral part of the overall health care system. Additionally, this move is a strategic way to benefit from the upside of Medicare Advantage insurer trends without exposing the company and its operators to financial risks related to starting their own plans.

As health care trends are shifting from hospitals and other high-cost care settings, senior housing communities are emerging as an increasingly important alternative. Hence, Welltower is focusing on integrated care delivery to bring senior housing closer with health systems and payers.

Currently, Welltower carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Over the past three months, shares of the company have gained 7.7% compared with the industry’s growth of 4.3%.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the real-estate space include Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. ARE, Equity Residential EQR and Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc. MAA, each carrying a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Alexandria Real Estate’s Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 funds from operations (FFO) per share has remained unchanged at $6.98 in the past month.

Equity Residential’s FFO per share estimate for the current year moved 1.5% upward to $3.45 over the past two months.

Mid-America’s Zacks Consensus Estimate for the ongoing year’s FFO per share climbed marginally to $6.30 in a month’s time.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represent funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.

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