The American Hospital Association has announced a new pilot program that would implement an “age-friendly health system” involving partnerships with hospitals, ambulatory care providers, long-term care providers, and post-acute care providers. The prototype of the age-friendly care model is currently being tested in five U.S. health systems: Anne Arundel Medical Center, Ascension, Kaiser Permanente, Providence St. Joseph Health, and Trinity Health.
In its summary of the pilot program, AHA describes the age-friendly health system as “based on patients’ goals and values, as well as improved outcomes and lower costs of care within the walls of the hospital and beyond . . . [and where] health systems assume more risk and potentially share in cost savings,” thereby spurring them to develop better coordination and integration of care across the continuum. Health care providers will recognize this as a part of the broader health care industry push for providing greater value and quality of care.
As stated above, long-term care providers will take part in the shift to an age-friendly health system. AHA states in the summary that nearly 75% of adults will require some type of long-term care, and about 40% will require care in a skilled nursing facility, which will involve significant costs. Long-term care providers are likely to be impacted by the following AHA indicatives:
- Studying the impact of dementia on illness presentation;
- Reaching out to other inpatient providers to help ensure delirium notification and results are communicated and understood;
- Redesigning medication reconciliation processes; and
- Scheduling pharmacovigilance meetings among care providers to ensure patient safety.
AHA plans to have 500 care sites committed to the age-friendly model by December 2019 and an additional 500 care settings by 2020, with a goal of “rapidly spread[ing] the model, creating a social movement that transforms health care to improve the patient experience for older adults and their families.”
For more information, please contact Hedy S. Rubinger or Alexander B. Foster.