Pilot Program Seeks to Improve Care for Older Adults

Top geriatrics specialists at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins have created a pilot program that will test leading geriatric care models in hospital settings

New York, NY
 – April 19, 2010 /Press Release/  –– 

Top geriatrics specialists at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins have created a pilot program that will test leading geriatric care models in hospital settings, with the goal of helping facilities remain profitable while providing better, more cost-effective care to their Medicare patients.

The new program, called the “Medicare Innovations Collaborative,” or Med-IC, is being funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies. The project is particularly important as the number of elderly Americans continues to rise while the pool of certified geriatricians declines. “Finding better, more efficient ways to care for the elderly is more important than ever,” said Albert Siu, M.D., principal investigator of the study, and the Ellen and Howard C. Katz Chairman’s Chair and Professor , Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Initially, Med-IC will work with hospitals at six national health systems that have a track record of providing excellent geriatric care. Each site will test one or more innovative programs designed to improve care for Medicare patients with multiple chronic conditions. Med-IC will then review and publish results from each site, identify future challenges, and propose solutions designed to help all hospitals develop their own line of geriatric services.

The sites chosen to participate in Med-IC are: Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee, WI; Carolinas Health Care Systems/Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy, Charlotte, NC; Crouse Hospital, Syracuse, NY; Geisinger Health Systems, Danville, PA; Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA.; and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH.

“We have chosen these sites because of their track records in developing successful programs for seniors and our belief in their commitment to expanding those programs to meet the challenges of the changing health care needs of their communities,” said Dr. Albert Siu.

Through an ongoing collaboration with policymakers, government officials, hospital administrators, physicians, and researchers, Med-IC will advocate and effect changes in healthcare policy. One of Med-IC’s priorities is to organize a small group of hospitals and health systems to develop a suite of innovative geriatric care models. These “learning laboratories” will ultimately result in a geriatric line of service – a portfolio of innovative models of care – that will inform the larger and longer-term debate on healthcare policy and will have immediate and positive impact on hospitals and the older adults for whom they care.

As health care providers struggle to deal with a shortage of geriatricians throughout the country and improve access to care for an aging population, the Med-IC project hopes to demonstrate that acute care and transitional models of care can be bundled into a portfolio of senior services for hospitals to successfully and more cost-effectively care for Medicare patients.

The American Geriatric Society’s Foundation for Health in Aging project estimates that between 2010 and 2030, one in five Americans will be older than 65. Meanwhile, the number of certified geriatricians in the United States is just 7,100.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. Founded in 1852, Mount Sinai today is a 1,171-bed tertiary-care teaching facility that is internationally acclaimed for excellence in clinical care. Last year, nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients, and there were nearly 450,000 outpatient visits to the Medical Center.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine is internationally recognized as a leader in groundbreaking clinical and basic science research, as well as having an innovative approach to medical education. With a faculty of more than 3,400 in 38 clinical and basic science departments and centers, Mount Sinai ranks among the top 20 medical schools in receipt of National Institute of Health (NIH) grants. For more information, please visit www.mountsinai.org.