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Welltower (WELL) & Jefferson Sign MoU, Announce JV Plans

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Welltower Inc. (WELL - Free Report) and Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health recently announced their plans to form a long-term joint venture, in order to enhance care at the company’s senior housing communities.

While a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed by both parties, a definitive agreement is anticipated to be executed over the next 90 days. This will mark Welltower’s first-of-its-kind partnership with a major academic health system.

Per the terms of the MOU, clinicians from Jefferson will offer care at Welltower’s senior housing, assisted living and memory-care communities in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey region, as well as future properties that the organizations will jointly develop. This suggests that Jefferson clinicians will manage and enhance full continuum of care for residents, from pre-acute to acute and post-acute.

Additionally, the partnership calls for Welltower to acquire a stake in certain real estate assets of Jefferson, providing the latter with cash for other clinical and academic strategic plans, including the expansion of its ambulatory care centers network.

Other than financial support, Welltower will provide its best-in-class predictive analytical tools to guide Jefferson in determining the best sites to build these ambulatory care centers and for other future real estate investments.

Per Welltower management, "Welltower and Jefferson are well aligned in our thinking that much of the current built environment for healthcare delivery cannot meet the promise of technological innovation and value-based care. Jefferson, a leader in delivering care outside the hospital walls, together with Welltower, will work to ensure that Jefferson's healthcare delivery infrastructure will deliver care more efficiently, cost effectively and with improved outcomes."

The partnership will likely have an emphasis on technology. Both companies envision to track residents and wellness at the facilities through wearable devices, mobile-enabled communications and alert messaging integrated into electronic medical records.  

Notably, the agreement is one of the many synergistic collaborations with health systems undertaken by Welltower to invest in the next generation assets of health and enhance wellness care delivery.

With the upcoming demographic-driven demand boom from the aging baby boomers, the company’s measures to enhance its senior housing portfolio position it well to benefit from this growth driver.

Over the past six months, shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have edged down 0.4%, as against the industry's gain of 2%.


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