Michigan Health & Hospital Association Keystone Center Launches Initiative to Improve Healthcare, Lower Costs for Older Adults

Age-Friendly Action Community

Age-Friendly Health Systems Action CommunityAs a patient safety and quality organization committed to better outcomes, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Keystone Center is pleased to launch the second cohort of the MHA Keystone Center Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community to prevent harm to older adults and decrease overall healthcare costs from readmissions. The initiative is made possible through funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and will run from March through September 2021. Informational webinars will be held Dec. 15 and Jan. 21 to discuss the program requirements and overall framework.

According to 2016 U.S. Census Bureau data, more than 23% of Michigan residents are now 60 or older — and life expectancy has increased by seven years since the 1960s. At the same time, roughly 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77% have at least two. The Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community seeks to provide evidence-based, high-quality care for older adults by focusing on the unique needs of this population to create a broad shift in focus to the needs of older adults.

“When it comes to COVID-19, older adults are especially vulnerable to severe illness. We know that adults 60 and older, especially those with preexisting medical conditions — particularly heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or cancer — are more likely to have severe coronavirus infection than other age groups,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “We appreciate the ongoing support of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to do this work, which we believe will allow Michigan health systems to make great strides in developing age-friendly, high-quality services for older Michiganders statewide.”

The MHA Keystone Center Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community second cohort will focus on the evidence-based “4Ms” Framework for creating age-friendly care environments. This includes focusing on what matters to the patient/family, medication (using age-friendly medications that don’t interfere with mobility, mentation or what matters), mentation (preventing, identifying and treating things like dementia, depression and delirium appropriately) and mobility (ensuring older adults move safely every day to maintain and improve function).

“Now more than ever, we remain strongly committed to the Age-Friendly Health Systems work here in Michigan,” said Paul Hillegonds, CEO of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. “We are grateful for our partners who value and have found success in this work, and we look forward to expanding this effort to continue to improve the quality of healthcare for Michigan’s older adults.”

Participants will test the 4Ms Framework in their setting, hear from subject matter experts and share learning with peers during the seven-month virtual community. Health systems, hospitals and outpatient settings in Michigan can choose to enroll at the unit/site level or organizationwide; there is no fee to participate. Participants can engage as many sites/units/teams as they would like in the MHA Keystone Center Age-Friendly Action Health Systems Community.