What do older patients and families need most from health reform? That’s the question being addressed at this morning’s “Building Better Care Forum: Improving the System For Delivering Health Care to Older Adults and Their Families” featuring lawmakers, healthcare providers, experts, patients and caregivers from around the country. The interactive event will feature speakers from California, Connecticut, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and the Washington, DC area. You can participate through a live webcast at http://www.CampaignforBetterCare.org and see US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), author Gail Sheehy, UCLA Geriatrics Division Chief David Reuben, journalist and activist Jonathan Rauch and US Department of Health & Human Services Director of Delivery System Reform Peter Lee among others. The program will start at 8:30am.
The event is being sponsored by the Campaign for Better Care, a multi-year initiative working to improve health care quality, coordination and communication for older patients with multiple health problems and their family caregivers. At the core of Campaign for Better Care is the belief that “doctors should work together as a team, medical records should be at our fingertips and patients and families should not be left to fend for themselves.” Although health reform is now starting to be implemented, the hard work of fixing our health care system is just beginning. One important focus of the organization is on helping people with multiple health problems—78 percent of Americans ages 55 and older are dealing with at least one chronic health condition like diabetes, heart disease or arthritis. As health issues multiply with the years, so does the complexity of treating them: older adults with five or more chronic health conditions have an average of 37 doctor visits, see 14 different doctors, and get 50 separate prescriptions each year. The organization’s goal? “If we can make our health care system work for them, we can make it work for everyone.” The Campaign for Better Care is led by the National Partnership for Women & Families, Community Catalyst and the National Health Law Program (NHeLP). It is funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies.
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