Today, 70 percent of Californians aged 65 or older have at least one chronic condition.1 As California’s senior population expands by four million people through 2030, the challenges associated with proper care coordination will be significantly magnified. Addressing California seniors’ care coordination needs will extend beyond medical treatment – and will be essential for ensuring the best health and well-being outcomes for older individuals.
Many seniors are less mobile, have inadequate access to transportation, experience social isolation, struggle with behavioral health issues, can’t afford housing and lack access to nutritious meals. In addition, long-term, coordinated nursing home care can cost $90,000 per year, putting it out of reach for most seniors.2 Addressing these needs through integrated, community-based care and supportive services models must involve coordination of both the medical and social aspects required for older adults – especially our most vulnerable seniors – to age safely in place with dignity.
Home-based primary care (HBPC) is a multidisciplinary ongoing care strategy for providing in-home treatment primarily to medically complex homebound seniors. Recent studies have demonstrated that HBPC can be a cost-effective strategy for delivering care to frail patients while maintaining or improving quality of care and patient satisfaction. With the growing senior population in the U.S. and amid cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, many healthcare providers and senior health advocacy organizations are working to ensure more seniors will have access to HBPC, which allows them to experience seamless transitions among their team of care providers in their homes, avoiding the expense and disruption of institutional care.
Through a combination of applied medical research, supportive policy, effective advocacy and outcomes-based philanthropy, West Health is working to create and foster new integrated care models that improve health outcomes and better address both the medical and non-medical needs of seniors and their families. Our Gary and Mary West Health Institute, Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center and Gary and Mary West Foundation all work together under the umbrella of West Health, with a shared mission to enable successful aging for our nation’s seniors.
Below are examples of our HBPC research studies:
1. Meng Y, Ahman T, Picket M. Californians with the Top Chronic Conditions: 11 Million and Counting. California Health Care Foundation. April 23, 2015.
2. 2015 Cost of Care Survey California. Genworth Financial, Inc., 2015, 2015 Cost of Care Survey California, www.genworth.com/dam/Americas/US/PDFs/Consumer/corporate/cost-of-care/118928CA_040115_gnw.pdf.
3. Beck, Laurel, and Hans Johnson. Planning for California’s Growing Senior Population. Public Policy Institute of California, 2015, Planning for California’s Growing Senior Population, www.ppic.org/publication/planning-for-californias-growing-senior-population.
4. The United States of Aging Survey. National Council on Aging, USA Today, WPBT 2, UnitedHealthcare, 2012, The United States of Aging Survey, www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/livable-communities/learn/research/the-united-states-of-aging-survey-2012-aarp.pdf.
5. Dickson, Virgil, and Lisa Schencker. “CMS Proposes $180 Million Reimbursement Cut for Home Health.” Modern Healthcare, 27 June 2016, www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20160627/NEWS/160629911?utm_source=modernhealthcare&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20160627-NEWS-160629911&utm_campaign=am.