On July 21, 2001, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing entitled, “Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs): Secure Retirement or Risky Investment?” The focus of the hearing was on the financial aspects of the CCRC model. The committee also released an investigative report, which can be accessed here. An archive of the webcast is available here.
In conjunction with the hearing, the General Accounting Office (GAO) released its report entitled: “Continuing Care Retirement Communities Can Provide Benefits, but Not Without Some Risk.” The GAO report was requested by the Committee Chairman, Herb Kohl (D-WI). The report and the testimony given by the GAO did not include any recommendations for change. However, the GAO did urge states to be vigilant in their oversight during periods of economic decline. The full GAO report can be found here.
A resident of a former B’nai B’rith community (Covenant of South Hills, now Concordia of South Hills) located in Mt. Lebanon, PA testified to the committee. That community filed for bankruptcy and residents lost the refundable portion of their entrance fees. The community was subsequently purchased by Concordia Lutheran Ministries. It was acknowledged that this was a rare occurrence and Senator Kohl hoped the publicity would raise awareness and help prevent future harm to CCRC residents. The resident from Concordia of South Hills testified that residents are satisfied under the new owner.
David Erickson of Covenant Retirement Communities testified on behalf of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA). Mr. Erickson noted that AAHSA produced a task force report on the outlook for CCRCs. He also stated that care to CCRC residents is the provider’s reason for existence and any failure to provide excellent care and services reflects poorly on us all.
AAHSA has produced a video summary of the event (featuring Steve Maag of AAHSA), which can be found here. A full article with additional details about the hearing can be found on AAHSA’s website here.