A fearless commitment to excellence in care defines the success of Vivage Senior Living
When two of Colorado’s most notable long-term care providers came together to form the state’s largest independently owned elder care group, central to their rebranding process was the choice of a new name.
The merger of Quality Life Management (QLM) and Piñon Management would birth a high-concept, innovative approach to elder care called Vivage, a portmanteau of viva, the Spanish word for life, and, of course, age.
“That’s what we feel age should be—celebrated,” explained Vivage CEO Jay Moskowitz.
Almost 40-year veteran of the skilled nursing facility (SNF) profession and second-generation healthcare management pro, Moskowitz knows whereof he speaks. Federal nursing home survey teams have used his facilities as training grounds, and 19 of 30 buildings have achieved five-star ratings from the Center for Medicaid Services (CMS).
Prior to the acquisition, Piñon Management was known for its success in managing turnarounds: intervening with failing state-run facilities throughout the U.S. to upgrade standards and return the locations to a level of acceptability.
“Piñon’s founder was looking for an exit strategy, and our two companies came together,” Moskowitz said.
Treating People Right
Nancy Schwalm, Vivage’s Chief Development Officer, emphasized the CEO’s affinity for caregiving.
“When QLM did the acquisition, Jay treated it like a merger because he really wanted to keep both teams happy. He’s that kind of thoughtful CEO that truly cares about his employees,” she said.
“We had so many great people working for both companies and I didn’t want anyone to feel we were taking over,” Moskowitz added.
Moskowitz and Schwalm transformed Piñon and QLM from competing organizations into powerful allies, working together to meld their teams’ knowledge and expertise to provide elders the care and support they need in progressive, life-affirming environments.
Moskowitz estimates that 90 percent of the companies’ corporate staff stayed on post-merger. These days, the corporate group is fondly referred to as “the home office.”
“We take pride in retaining so many key members of the organization,” he affirmed.
Overall, the company’s number of employees bloomed from 2,000 to 3,000. As a consultant, Vivage offers management and operational expertise for senior living communities across the nation.
Elder Care Across the Continuum
Vivage offers a full complement of post-acute rehabilitation and long-term care environments, encompassing home health, hospice, and long-term care communities. Additionally, the firm operates memory care communities, behavioral health programs, and rehabilitation facilities to create a full continuum of care.
As Schwalm told BOSS, “There’s a push in healthcare to get people back home, because that’s where everyone wants to be; people want to grow old and pass on in their own homes. Therefore, we are very proud of the fact that we do a lot of rehabilitation. People can always come back to us if they’re not able to be at home, but 65 to 70 percent of our new admissions go back home within 14 days of admission.”
That impressively high number reflects the sea of change in the way care management has evolved over the past two decades.
“Twenty years ago, when people came in to a long-term care or rehabilitation facility, the length of stay was double or triple what it is now,” Moskowitz pointed out. “A 75 year-old person with a hip fracture would be in the nursing home for 30 to 40 days. It’s now 14 to 15 days.
“The whole profession has changed. The philosophy of how we provide care has changed to get the help to people return back to home.”
In industry terms, person-centered care encapsulates that philosophy.
With person-centered care, an individual’s specific needs inform all of the care decisions made by the facility, as well as the quality metrics the organization tracks. Vivage guests are partners with their caregivers and facility administrators, and are cared for from a perspective that honors their physical, mental, and social needs. The community settings are designed to create a sense of true home, whether a guest is at Vivage for a short time or for long-term services.
“When each of us or a family member need care, whether it’s in a hospital or a skilled nursing facility, [our care is] about the individual and how we can best get to know them and know what’s important to them because it really impacts their healing, overall wellness, and their ability to be engaged in their care plan,” Schwalm said.
Mr. Moskowitz shared that the company’s culture is about its employees.
“They are who make us a great organization. With great employees and commitment, we provide great care to our residents and guests.”
Schwalm credits the firm’s success to a great company culture that supports its mission to continually innovate.
“As an operator you have to realize the goal is all about what the consumer wants, and if you care what the consumer wants you will be more successful in this business. If you’re just in it for the money or for the real estate, those operations sometimes fail.”
The evolution in elder care has been particularly gratifying for professionals who have dedicated careers in the caregiving space as Moskowitz and Schwalm have.
“It’s been a great shift. We embrace it, we educate around it, and make it work,” Schwalm agreed.
Vivage manages a wide variety of skilled and assisted living communities owned by families, real estate investment trusts, corporations, boards of directors, and private equity firms. Regardless of the ownership group, property size, location, or resident population served, we are committed to bringing a high value proposition to each facility we manage.
Vivage provides a dedicated leadership team for each property, including a licensed Administrator and Director of Nursing. We provide oversight through a talented team of corporate operations staff, who bring their own proven experience as facility leaders to their role of consultant, mentor or director.
Vivage Senior Living HQ
12136 W Bayaud Ave
Lakewood, CO 80228