Keeping pace with clinical and regulatory change in the senior housing/healthcare industry isn’t getting any easier, but some small entrepreneurial investors are finding inventive ways to stay ahead of the curve.

So says Trissie Copses Farr, a Senior Vice President and head of the Formation Healthcare Group (FHG) of Alpharetta, GA, an Atlanta suburb. The consulting business is a division of Formation Capital, a leading private investment management firm that is focused on seniors housing and care, post-acute and healthcare real estate investments.

Formation Capital has $5.5 billion in assets under management nationwide and recently entered the international market through a purchase in the UK. Ms. Farr says FHG functions as an in-house clinical advisory team for Formation Capital but provides consulting services for outside clients as well.

Cambridge Realty Capital, an FHG client, is a prime example of a forward-thinking company that is exceptionally well managed and attuned to the technological innovations that are giving senior care owners a reasonable chance to stay abreast of developments in a dynamically changing regulatory climate, she believes.

Uniquely, Cambridge is one of the nation’s leading HUD 232 lenders but also acquires assets through Cambridge Investment and Finance Co., the company’s acquisition arm. The company’s principal investment strategy includes direct property acquisitions and joint ventures, sale/leasebacks, conventional and mezzanine debt financing, and the acquisition of distressed debt, she points out.

“Changes in the regulatory environment mean companies need to be more analytical, proactive and knowledgeable about potential risk. Historically, Cambridge has taken a very advanced approach to asset management,” she said.

For its clients, Ms. Farr says FHG conducts due diligence with an emphasis on the clinical and regulatory risks associated with a potential investment or loan underwriting. The firm offers continuous monitoring of post-acute care activities and operations using a proprietary web-based data system for clinical and regulatory activities associated with long-term care and assisted living facilities.

At Cambridge, Ms. Farr says her primary contact is Brent Holman-Gomez, a Senior Vice President for Originations, Operations and Asset Management. Mr. Holman-Gomez believes that one of the greatest impediments to real estate investment is the regulatory risk involved.

“This is a sentiment we share” Ms Farr says.

She describes a process that Cambridge is using to proactively factor in clinical, regulatory and operational aspects of performance. FHG’s Quality In-Cite TM system monitors assets using real time facility information, interactions with various clients, on-site facility visits and benchmark data to proactively alert investors and lenders to clinical indicators that may lead to financial risks or defaults.

The database and management system developed by FHG provides a platform for clients seeking to enhance their clinical regulatory reporting and monitoring of clinical covenants. Included in the company’s consulting package is clinical support and/or data management for proactive risk mitigation and comprehensive Medicare/Medicaid compliance and reimbursement analysis, she said.

“Cambridge has been open to suggestions for improvement and definitely is into the information technology world, which is becoming increasingly more essential for success,” she said.

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