News & Commentary

New Survey Shows Coordinated Care Programs for Seniors Critical to Improving Outcomes

December 7, 2016
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CareMore, a physician-founded, physician-led care delivery system and health plan, recently launched a survey fielded by Harris Poll to gain a deeper understanding of what Medicare-eligible seniors experience when receiving health care. The resulting survey revealed not only the medical realities of these seniors, but also possible programs and services that could be developed to improve their health care experience and quality of life.

Seniors’ health care challenges need attention

The health care system is complex, particularly for seniors, based on a number of factors. The most significant of these is that, overall, seniors have more health issues than other demographic groups. In the survey of over 1,000 respondents, one in five seniors rated their health as either “fair” or “poor.” Many seniors – 85 percent– reported having one or more chronic condition like high blood pressure, hypertension, high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes.

Growing need for improved care coordination

Of respondents to the CareMore study, 65 percent noted that they see three or more providers in the regular course of their health care. As a result, seniors’ health care networks are made more complicated merely by the number of in-network doctors. Added to that, the study revealed that nearly 70 percent of seniors say that they rely on a family member to coordinate their care (34 percent) or that they have no one to coordinate their care at all (35 percent).

Care coordination refers to the thoughtful organization of a patient’s care activities amongst that patient’s varied health care providers to facilitate the optimal delivery of care. Considering the necessity of effective health care for seniors, improvements in care coordination are crucial for ensuring positive clinical outcomes and reducing costs.

Care coordination beyond medical services

One of the key findings of the CareMore/Harris Poll survey was that while coordinated care in medical services is crucial for seniors, provider programs that address needs beyond medical care are also vital. The survey found that:

  • Of seniors, 36 percent want more opportunities to engage with their communities.
  • One in three seniors think that providers offering transportation to and from medical appointments is just as important as critical health care procedures.
  • Twenty-eight percent wish that their health care provider would offer access to a gym or to group fitness classes.

These findings indicate that seniors see their health care providers as critical to improving and maintaining not only their health, but also to maintaining their overall wellness.

To see the full report with survey findings, please visit caremorehealthsystem.com/senior-survey/.

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