Center for Technology and Aging's
February 15, 2011
OAKLAND, CA -- The Center for Technology and Aging (www.techandaging.org) has awarded a total of $500,000 to California, Indiana, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington. The grants will enable each state, through their Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs), to gain more experience with and to evaluate the benefits of technologies that improve patients' transitions from hospitals to their homes or other settings.
According to Medicare data, the United States has an 18% rate of hospital readmissions within 30 days of discharge and as many as 76% of these are preventable. It is estimated that as much as $25 billion could be saved each year if these unnecessary readmissions were avoided.
The Technologies for Improving Post-Acute Care Transitions, Tech4Impact, grants were made in collaboration with an Administration on Aging (AoA) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) initiative that helps older Americans and persons with disabilities manage their long-term care support services: "Implementing the Affordable Care Act: Making it Easier for Individuals to Navigate their Health and Long-Term Care through Person-Centered Systems of Information, Counseling and Access."
In remarks today in Baltimore, MD, at the 2011 AoA and CMS grantee national meeting, Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said, "I want to thank the Center for sponsoring this innovative grant program that encourages ADRCs to expand the use of technologies that support their existing care transitions initiatives. I'm certain this public-private partnership will serve as a national model and will have a ripple effect across the nation for those seeking better transitional care solutions for their patients."
"Better management of transitional care can dramatically improve an individual's quality of life, as well as avoid billions of dollars in unnecessary health care expenses," said David Lindeman, PhD, Executive Director of the Center for Technology and Aging. "It is a privilege to be a part of a national effort that encourages broader use of exciting, but underused technologies that enable clinicians and other caregivers to keep patients from being readmitted to hospitals unnecessarily."
States will use the Tech4Impact funds to further expand technology use in ADRCs that are already implementing transitional care interventions. Two states are expanding use of technologies that enhance care transitions program evaluation and planning and three states are expanding use of technologies that better empower consumers in the care transitions process.
- California: This project enables patients to manage chronic conditions and locate resources via a personal health record (PHR) and Network of Care (NoC) online resources. The collaborators include: San Diego ADRC, Sharp Memorial Hospital, Trilogy Integrated Resources and the San Diego Futures Foundation.
- Indiana: This project will enhance and help evaluate the "Geriatric Resources for Assessment and Care of Elders," GRACE, model of care in order to improve the Veteran Administration's (VA) confidence in this model. The effort includes participation by the Indianapolis ADRC and VA Medical Center, the Indiana University School of Medicine, and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Division of Aging.
- Rhode Island (RI): This project seeks to reduce medication problems following a patient's hospital discharge by implementing an electronic health record (EHR) that is coupled with pharmacy services. Participants include the RI Department of Elderly Affairs and statewide ADRC, in collaboration with the University of RI College of Pharmacy, Rhodes to Independence, Quality Partners of RI, and ER Card.
- Texas: This project expands the Care Transitions Intervention (CTI) model evaluation process by modifying a single data collection and reporting system for CTI coaches in the Scott & White Healthcare system. The Texas Department of Aging & Disability Services will conduct project oversight and support activities, and the project will be implemented by several Texas ADRCs.
- Washington: This project expands the CTI model through the use of the web-based Shared Care Plan PHR platform used in Whatcom and Skagit Counties, and by creating a training curriculum for the Shared Care Plan. Participants include the Whatcom Health Information Network, and the Northwest Regional Council.
Additional detail on each of these grants is available at www.techandaging.org.
The Center for Technology and Aging (www.techandaging.org) supports more rapid adoption and diffusion of technologies that enhance independence and improve home and community-based care for older adults. Through grants, research, public policy involvement and development of practical tools and best practice guidelines, the Center serves as an independent, non-profit resource for improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of long-term care services. The Center was established with funding from The SCAN Foundation (www.thescanfoundation.org) and is affiliated with the Public Health Institute (www.phi.org) in Oakland, CA.