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Patient-Centered Care Management Crucial for Aging Population Healthcare

Patient-Centered Care Management Crucial for Aging Population Healthcare

I think most of us envision ourselves living until a ripe old age with some discomfort of aging but basically healthy and independent. The fact is, that’s really the exception these days rather than the rule. Why? Because we are living longer and experiencing what I’ll call “reasonable wear and tear” of aging and a much higher rate of chronic illness than ever before. As a result of these factors, it is readily apparent that our current healthcare system and supply of healthcare providers and caregivers will simply be insufficient to take care of our rapidly aging and increasingly chronically ill population in the not too distant future.

Consider these facts. By 2030, just 12 years from now, 20% of out total population will be retirement age or 65. All of us baby boomers will be at least 65. By 2035, the over-65 population will be larger than the under-18 population for the first time in the history of this country. Now that might sound great to those in the business of creating environments and services for that ever-increasing population but, and this is a big but, the traditional model of simply aggregating aging people into common living arrangements and entertaining them until they reach a ripe old age and comfortably transition to the hereafter, just is not going to work any more. Why? Again, because this population is growing sicker and faster than our current healthcare infrastructure and system can handle. Our current healthcare and caregiver system cannot and is not designed to help the aging, chronically ill population make the behavior changes necessary to manage their chronic illness and health and wellness regardless of their living environment. Our current structure is built to just do stuff to people when they have exacerbations of conditions with the idea we can stabilize them until there is another exacerbation and the cycle just continues over and over.

The good news is there is a new keen interest in creating a new approach to managing this aging chronically ill population. We are looking past the old paradigm of creating more hospitals, investing in more machines and doing more and more procedures on the heels of more and more diagnostic tests. This new approach involves frequent personal intervention with patients to guide their behavior towards managing lifestyle behaviors in such a way to optimize their well-being and minimize the impact of their chronic conditions. In so doing, we drive down the costs associated with the traditional healthcare system approach and improve the life of the patient at the same time. Some of this intervention will, no doubt in the future, be driven by technology that allows us to capture real time data. This technology is already available and when coupled with personal intervention becomes a powerful tool in assisting the patient and that patient’s caregivers and healthcare providers. That technology also enables us to access data and provide predictive analytics that benefit current and future patients.

True, patient-centered care management, not costs management, applied to the most vulnerable patient population on a timely basis, is the solution needed now, more than ever, to create a better, more efficient, more responsive healthcare system, while creating positive differences in patient outcomes allowing patients to live healthier, happier, more productive lives.

Organizations, whether they are senior living organizations or more traditional healthcare provider organizations who adopt this patient-centered care management approach, will be far more successful in the future than those that don’t.

NavCare, backed by experienced caregivers and years of healthcare experience, partners with senior living organizations and healthcare provider organizations to deliver comprehensive care management services and technology that deliver better patient engagement and outcomes. The result is higher patient and resident satisfaction with resulting improved revenue for healthcare providers and senior living organizations.

About the Author

Rick Griffin

Rick Griffin

Rick Griffin is President and CEO of US CareNet and NavCare.  The US CareNet family of companies includes Health at Home, Care Partners @ Home and NavCare - providing innovative care management and care navigation across the continuum of care.

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