More than 50 health system leaders and policymakers have called for an examination of issues important to chronically ill older adults and their caregivers in an an effort to compel payment and policy changes that support “high-value” care models.

Participants at a “think tank” hosted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing focused on:

  • using evidence-based care models to achieve high-value care in the next few years
  • increasing partnerships with healthcare consumers
  • advancing the use of emerging healthcare innovations.

The group found that nurses will be key to transforming care for the chronically ill.

More than 40% of all older adults in the U.S. are living with four or more chronic illnesses, receiving care from what think tank leaders called a “fragmented” healthcare system. They are struggling with rising costs and uneven quality.
“We need to stimulate a national conversation that engages the diverse perspectives of all stakeholders, most importantly those of older adults and their family caregivers in telling us what matters most to them,” said Nancy Hodgson, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Anthony Buividas Term Chair in Gerontology and associate professor of nursing at Penn State.
Other recommendations called for nurses to take on leadership roles in high-value care models for chronically ill older adults and their family caregivers, and to prepare future nurses as health innovators.
Focus groups, conducted with older adults living with complex conditions in advance of the meeting, confirmed the role of nurses in advancing high value care.

“The care of older adults, especially those living with multiple health and social problems, is one of the most complex and costly priorities confronting societies across the globe,” said Mary Naylor, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology.

The group’s full report will be available this summer.