The Care that Keeps on Giving: Becoming an Age-Friendly Health System

Age-Friendly Action Community

Age-Friendly Health Systems Action CommunityMichigan’s aging population is growing rapidly — in fact, Michigan has one of the highest concentrations of older residents in the country. With advanced age, medical conditions and treatment become more complex, resulting in adverse outcomes and costly medical bills.

That is why the MHA Keystone Center is launching its second Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community from March to September 2021 for hospitals, ambulatory and extended care sites. Age-Friendly Health Systems fundamentally rethink the way healthcare systems care for older adults by deploying a mix of evidence-based care models with personalized support services to ensure a better life for this population.

At the end of the seven-month Action Community, participating organizations will have implemented the specific changes of the Age-Friendly Health Systems framework in their unit, clinic, emergency department or program and will have early data on key measures that demonstrate initial evidence of benefit to the older adults they serve. Engaged hospitals and health organizations that effectively deploy the framework will experience the following benefits:

  • Improved, cost-effective care for older adults through the organization’s delivery of evidence-based care.
  • Avoided costs of poor-quality care resulting from fewer inadvertent complications, fewer undesired medical interventions and improved patient safety. These cost savings are reflected in fewer and shorter hospital stays and lower costs per day. In the outpatient setting, the profits come primarily from added revenues resulting from expanding appropriate outpatient services.
  • Increased fee-generating encounters through Medicare Annual Wellness Visits, resulting in encounters such as advance care planning and health screenings.
  • Public recognition by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and The John A. Hartford Foundation as an Age-Friendly Health System – Committed to Care Excellence and celebrated on the IHI’s website, press releases and other venues..
  • Existing hospital resources that are redeployed and prioritized. The Action Community is designed to occur as part of each employee’s existing activities.

One of the most significant benefits of joining the Action Community affects the mission of many healthcare organizations: to provide services in a fiscally responsible manner that contribute to the physical, psychological and social well-being of the patients and communities in which they serve.

The Action Community is flexible and will adapt its content to meet the needs of its participants who are battling the constantly evolving pandemic. Healthcare teams interested in participating in this Action Community can find additional information and enroll online. In addition, the MHA Keystone Center will host a Twitter chat from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 18 to discuss the need for age-friendly healthcare (see related article). Members with questions may contact the MHA Keystone Center.