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Aging with GRACE: New health care delivery model improves outcomes, saves money
Date:8/11/2009

INDIANAPOLIS A team approach to preventive healthcare delivery for older adults developed by researchers from Indiana University and the Regenstrief Institute improves health and quality of life, decreased emergency department visits and lowered hospital admission rates. By the second year the new model saved money for the sickest (those with three to four chronic diseases), and in the third year, a year after the home-based intervention ended, it saved even more.

The cost analysis of the home-based program appears in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS). In a previous study published in the Dec. 12, 2007, issue of the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) the researchers reported their success in improving both quality of care and health-related quality of life measures while reducing emergency department use. Hospital admissions were reduced in the second year of the program for those at high risk of hospitalization.

Geriatric Resources for Assessment and Care of Elders (GRACE) was developed by researchers from the IU School of Medicine, the IU Center for Aging Research and the Regenstrief Institute to involve seniors and their primary care physicians in a program to optimize health and functional status, and to decrease high-cost emergency department visits and hospital admissions.

"Healthcare reform is calling out for ways to improve health and lower costs. We have found a strategy to do that for a very vulnerable growing population in a way that shows cost savings over time and has the added benefit of providing services that these seniors desperately need but can't get elsewhere," said study leader Steven R. Counsell, M.D., Mary Elizabeth Mitchell Professor of Geriatrics at the IU School of Medicine, IU Center for Aging Research center scientist and affiliated scientist of the Regenstrief Institute.

The randomized control trial enrolled
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert  

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