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Hospitalized Seniors Say No One Coordinates Their Care

News  |  By Philip Betbeze  
   December 20, 2016

Survey respondents' answers highlight possible risks to patient safety and good outcomes, and the need for better care coordination.

A survey of more than a thousand seniors shows the gaps in care coordination for some of the nation's most costly and most vulnerable patients, and highlights the need for better, more innovative care management.

The Harris Poll survey found that 85% of respondents had been diagnosed with some type of health condition. More than 64% said they have seen at least three healthcare providers during the past year.

However, 69% of respondents said they rely on themselves or a family member to coordinate their care, and 63% who have been hospitalized said no one helps coordinate their care for the first few months following discharge.

Less than half of those surveyed (43%) reported that they were asked about the treatments or medications prescribed by other doctors, highlighting possible risks to patient safety and good outcomes.

Unwise Medical Choices Stubbornly Defy Eradication

However, nearly all seniors (95%) said they are satisfied with the care they receive from their provider—typically a primary care physician or his or her staff (85%).

More than three-quarters of seniors said their healthcare provider takes an active role in helping them manage their health (78%), gives them the support they need to live healthier lives (84%), and is a partner in helping them take care of their health (82%).

That doesn't mean they wouldn't appreciate more help or recognize the need for it. Some 28% said they would like their healthcare provider to have a person in their office call them regularly to ask if they have questions about treatment or medications.

More than half (52%) said they want their provider to offer access people or programs that could help them understand their current treatment plans and manage their health.

The survey was conducted between September 26 and October 13, and included 1,005 respondents in the United States age 65 or older. It was commissioned by Anthem subsidiary CareMore, an operationally independent, senior-focused health plan and medical group.

"Responses to the survey reinforce the importance of engaging patients by providing access to a comprehensive health care team and services to enable access to optimal care and coordination," CareMore stated in its overview of the survey.

Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders.

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