The pandemic has forced us to revisit the way we perceive and deliver healthcare. The number of people older than 65 will double by the year 2060(US Government census) and if current trends hold, two out of three of them will have multiple chronic conditions. Meeting their health care needs will call not only for a shift in perspective but in clinical practice.
- Calling it a new age with a different approach, Christopher Ciano, President of Medicare for Aetna, a CVS Health company, said “We’re heading into a new era for the care of older Americans,and this means engaging with a broader range of issues that affect them.” If health care systems can get on board with evidence-based ways to help this population, the entire ecosystem of health care stands to benefit.
- One of the more promising efforts from CVS Health is the Age-Friendly Health Systems approach, an initiative led by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Practitioners are encouraged to adopt a range of best practices that align with a framework known as the “4Ms”: reviewing their patients’ Medications, Mentation, Mobility and what Matters most to them in terms of health goals.
- In 2021 and beyond, the approach will be adopted by MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic of CVS Health, as the largest retail clinic network in the United States. MinuteClinic’s commitment to be an Age-Friendly Health System is supported by a grant from The John A. Hartford Foundation to the Case Western Reserve University Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, in partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
- Retail clinics as a whole have seen rising numbers of patients older than 65, with surveys showing more than one in seven coming for medical services. “For us, the Age-Friendly initiative maps out a way to make a difference for patients 65 and older,” says Angela Patterson, DNP, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer of MinuteClinic and Vice President of CVS Health. “Our commitment involves supporting the work of the broader primary care health system within a community and helping optimize the best outcomes for these older patients. There was a natural synergy with the 4Ms framework.”