Integrated Healthcare in Housing for Elderly Lowered Inpatient Stays, Readmissions
AJMC.com (03/23/17) Mattina, Christina
A recent study reveals that an innovative housing model for older adults called Connect4Life helped to reduce rates of both inpatient hospitalizations and readmissions. The model, developed by Juniper Communities, aims to streamline healthcare by integrating therapy, pharmacy and laboratory services into the living environment. The model's "high-tech, high-touch" approach uses electronic health records to manage patients' medical information and provides access to patient navigators. Using data from the 2012 Medicare Beneficiaries Survey, researchers conducted an analysis in which they compared outcomes for residents in the Connect4Life program and a similarly frail group of individuals living in the community or in senior housing that does not use an integrated care model. The Juniper patient group was, on average, older and more likely to be cognitively impaired but still demonstrated 50 percent lower rates of inpatient hospitalization and 80 percent lower readmission rates compared with the non-integrated comparison group. In addition, their emergency department utilization was 15 percent lower than that of the comparison group. Researcher Anne Tumlinson said the study showed that integrated care is a viable solution for residential facilities looking to decrease unnecessary spending while improving health outcomes and quality of life among their patients. The report also found that keeping patients defined as frail out of the hospital helped to avoid additional spending, improve care, and improve customer satisfaction.