An Integrated Model of Co-ordinated Community-Based Care
Scharlach, Andrew E.
Graham, Carrie L.
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Purpose of the Study: Co-ordinated approaches to community-based care are a central component of current and proposed efforts to help vulnerable older adults obtain needed services and supports and reduce unnecessary use of health care resources. Design and Methods: This study examines ElderHelp Concierge Club, an integrated community-based care model that includes comprehensive personal and environmental assessment, multilevel care co-ordination, a mix of professional and volunteer service providers, and a capitated, income-adjusted fee model. Evaluation includes a retrospective study (n = 96) of service use and perceived program impact, and a prospective study (n = 21) of changes in participant physical and social well-being and health services utilization. Results: Over the period of this study, participants showed greater mobility, greater ability to meet household needs, greater access to health care, reduced social isolation, reduced home hazards, fewer falls, and greater perceived ability to obtain assistance needed to age in place. Implications: This study provides preliminary evidence that an integrated multilevel care co-ordination approach may be an effective and efficient model for serving vulnerable community-based elders, especially low and moderate-income elders who otherwise could not afford the cost of care. The findings suggest the need for multisite controlled studies to more rigorously evaluate program impacts and the optimal mix of various program components.