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Aging with grace: In-home assessments lead to better care, lower health costs
Date:3/8/2011

INDIANAPOLIS The March 2011 issue of the journal Heath Affairs highlights an evidence-based model of geriatric care management developed, implemented and tested by researchers and clinicians from Indiana University, the Regenstrief Institute and Wishard Health Services.

Geriatric Resources for Assessment and Care of Elders (GRACE) optimizes the health and functional status of community dwelling lower income, older adults. GRACE is now in use by Wishard Health Services, the third-largest safety-net health organization in the United States; by HealthCare Partners Medical Group, a large managed care organization in Southern California and by a growing number of other organizations.

A previous clinical trial found that GRACE improves health and quality of life, decreases emergency department visits and lowers hospital admission rates in lower income older adults at high risk for hospital admission. The care delivery model focuses on the many issues faced by older adults -- access to needed services, medications, mobility, depression, transportation, nutrition, as well as other health issues of aging.

"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 Steven R. Counsell, M.D., Mary Elizabeth Mitchell Professor of Geriatrics at the IU School of Medicine, an IU Center for Aging Research center scientist, a geriatrician at Wishard, and an affiliated scientist of the Regenstrief Institute, the principal investigator of the GRACE clinical trial. He is currently leading GRACE dissemination initiatives while working to influence health policy to improve integration of medical and social care for vulnerable elders.

The key to GRACE is two teams. The support team, consist
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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