VOLUME 19 | JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2012 | IGSW at Boston University

From the Director

For Cost Containment, Better Outcomes,
Reform Focus Is on Care Management

Scott Geron
By Scott Miyake Geron

A convergence of events is bringing care management into the policy arena, front and center. Recent reports highlight the potential of good care management to minimize poor outcomes and reduce costs for the most expensive Medicare beneficiaries, and, most important, care management is an important focus of the Affordable Care Act. At IGSW, we are pleased to introduce our new Care Management Certificate Program to strengthen the care management/coordination skills of practitioners at this crucial time.... Read more

Photo courtesy Boston University

Issues and Views

At-risk elders move from hospital to home

Brief, Inexpensive Coordination of Transitional
Care Proves Effective

By Mary Johnson

For examples of success, the many healthcare providers, policymakers, and third-party insurers who have recently discovered care coordination as a possible way to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs of care would do well to seek out Robyn Golden and the Rush Enhanced Discharge Planning Program (EDPP), a brief, cost-effective intervention that fosters successful transitions of older adult patients from hospital to home.
Robyn Golden
"At home, even with a fine discharge plan, life intervenes," Golden said in an interview with IGSW News....

Read more from Robyn Golden, a national leader in social work administration and policy and longtime advocate of care management in healthcare. She is director of older adult programs at Chicago's Rush University Medical Center, where the EDPP was developed and tested.

Photo of Robyn Golden courtesy Rush University photo group

New Course!

Care Transitions

As moves between different levels of care, different settings, and different providers increasingly characterize the health and long-term-care experience of older adults, proper planning and management of care transitions has become an essential skill for social service practitioners who work with elders and their families. Course participants will learn how to develop effective interventions to ease care transitions based on new methods and tools used by hospitals and community agencies throughout the country. View this video clip about guided care, a care-transition model that originated in a primary care setting and is discussed in detail in this course.

Sign up now or learn more about Care Transitions

Screen shot: Boston University/Karmavision

The Caring Self: The Work Experiences of Home Care Aides

Author Finds That Social Workers Can Lighten
The Burdens of Direct-Care Workers

Review by Audrey Wong

Book Review: The Caring SelfIt has been three years since the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that of all groups needed to care for the growing older population, direct-care workers would be in particularly short supply because, among other reasons, jobseekers are not attracted to this demanding and low-paying work. Among the books that have emerged in that time, The Caring Self: The Work Experiences of Home Care Aides, by Clare L. Stacey, (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2011) provides a thoughtful look at why people become paid caregivers, why they stay on or leave the job, and how the job can be made more attractive.... Read more

Book cover image: Cornell University Press

News to Note

The right tests & treatments in the right setting

Improved Care Coordination for Medicare Patients
Is Aim of New $42-Million ACA Initiative

The right stuff. In a new Affordable Care Act initiative that began November 1, some 500 community health centers in 44 states across the country will receive approximately $42 million over three years to coordinate care for Medicare patients, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced. Participating centers will help patients manage chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure and will actively coordinate their care.
Donald Berwick
"As patients receive the right tests, right medications, and right treatments in the right setting, the patients will benefit and the health centers will use healthcare dollars more wisely," said Donald M. Berwick, who was head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid during development of the program and has been instrumental in putting many aspects of the Affordable Care Act into effect.... Read more

Photo of Donald M. Berwick, former head of CMS,
courtesy Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

New from HIV and Aging Consensus Project

First-Ever Recommended Treatment Strategies
For Older HIV Patients

It's a "young person's disease" is one of the many myths about HIV-AIDS that persist, though physicians and other health and social service providers know from their practice that no age group is immune. At last, in a development that will enhance care and treatment of the many people who contract HIV-AIDS in later life or who grow older with the condition, the first-ever recommended treatment strategies for older HIV patients have been released, in a new clinical report from the HIV and Aging Consensus Project. In 2006, some 26 percent of HIV-infected adults in the U.S. were age 50 or older, and in 2011 estimates place that number at almost 40 percent.... Read more

New Course!

Care Management with Older Adults

Latest skills and tools. Social service practitioners have traditionally played an important role in care management. With current developments in the health and long-term-care system, that role remains crucial, especially in managing the care of such individuals who wish to live as independently as possible. This course provides an overview of care management, the latest in skills and tools, and information about long-term-care management services and resources available in the community.

Sign up now or learn more about Care Management with Older Adults