Washington, D.C. (June 26, 2013) – The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) and WellPoint, Inc. hosted a Capitol Hill briefing today, taking on issues pertaining to long-term care (LTC) facilities. This co-sponsored briefing is part of an ongoing collaboration focused on raising important health care issues that proactively identify and advance solutions that address the crippling impact of chronic disease and support the delivery of coordinated, patient-centered care.Nearly two-thirds of Americans over the age of 65 are estimated to be candidates for LTC facility placement. However, recent studies have shown that many elderly individuals would prefer to receive care in their home or other community-based institutions when possible leading health care providers to look at new alternatives to care for the elderly. Further charging these efforts is the fact that LTC is a leading component of state and federal Medicaid costs.“The aging population and rising rates of chronic disease have exposed myriad cost, capacity, and delivery challenges facing our health care system,” said PFCD Chairman Ken Thorpe. “Finding effective and sustainable solutions to improve not just the health of vulnerable populations but the overall health of Americans is an important undertaking that requires an all-hands approach. Bringing together research and policy experts is an informed, effective way to address challenges head on and ideally prevent costly complications throughout the health care system.”Increased understanding of the risk factors for LTC placement can help identify those at greatest risk and design interventions to prevent or delay the need for residential long-term care. Researchers at Duke University collaborated with Connecticut Community Care Inc. to develop an innovative predictive model that assesses risk factors. “Our prediction model is a significant step forward in improving the care for high-risk Medicaid beneficiaries, providing a tool to understand the risk of long-term care placement, and an opportunity to implement tailored care management so that more individuals at risk could remain home,” said Dr. Isao Iwata, Duke University.Using five years of data, researchers examined health status, demographic, and socio-economic factors for high-risk Medicaid beneficiaries in order to identify risk factors that could result in LTC and services that may prevent LTC placement. Dr. Sheila Molony, Director of Quality Improvement at Connecticut Community Care, Inc., added, “This approach to care delivery can be successfully scaled nationally by identifying other high-risk populations and providing them with more targeted, effective care to improve their quality of life.”Featured panel speakers included:
- Dr. Ken Thorpe, PhD, Chairman, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
- Dr. Isao Iwata, MD, PhD, EdM, Duke University (Assistant Professor, Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
- Kate Massey, Vice President, Amerigroup Public Policy Institute
- Dr. Sheila Molony, PhD, APRN, GNP-BC, Director of Quality Improvement, Connecticut Community Care, Inc. (CCCI)
- Matt Salo, Executive Director, National Association of Medicaid Directors
For more information on PFCD and future events, please visit www.fightchronicdisease.org.About the Partnership to Fight Chronic DiseaseThe Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a national coalition of patients, providers, community organizations, business and labor groups, and health policy experts committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising health care costs in the U.S.: chronic disease.About WellPoint, Inc.At WellPoint, we believe there is an important connection between our members’ health and well-being—and the value we bring our customers and shareholders. So each day we work to improve the health of our members and their communities. And, we can make a real difference since we have nearly 36 million people in our affiliated health plans, and nearly 68 million people served through our subsidiaries. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; and as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint’s plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). We also serve customers in several additional states through our Amerigroup subsidiary and in certain markets through our CareMore subsidiary. Our 1-800 CONTACTS, Inc. subsidiary offers customers online sales of contact lenses, eyeglasses and other ocular products. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.