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OASIS Home Health - Report: Early Intervention Plans are Crucial

Posted by Nathan Hope on Nov 17, 2014

Oasis Home Health - Early Interventions Essential For Aging Population

A new series of studies reported by The Lancet indicates that the massive expansion of the aging population could be seriously at risk if early health interventions have not been established. Chronic illness, being one of the major risk factors, must be preventively addressed before developing.

Currently, there are more people over the age of 60 in the USA than have ever been before. Strategies put in place to address complications arising from smoking, diabetes, and hypertension has drastically improved the long-term health outcomes for an aging population. However, longer lifespans does not necessarily mean “healthier”.


The number of cases for particular long-term illnesses will continue to rise exponentially as the aging population continues to expand, especially in the U.S. Currently, the amount of those suffering from dementia worldwide tops 44 million cases and is expected to reach 150 million by 2050. According to the Nation Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), diabetes cases will continue rising by 96% between 2004 and 2030.

According to the report’s authors:

"Older people have greater health and long-term care needs than younger people, leading to increased expenditure. They are also less likely to work if they are unhealthy, and could impose an economic burden on families and society. Like everyone else, older people need both physical and economic security, but the burden of providing these securities will be falling on a smaller portion of the population."

Dr. John Beard, co-author of the report and director of the Department of Aging and Life Course at WHO, remarks that a "deep and fundamental reforms of health and social care systems” is required in order to stifle these rapidly rising numbers. They authors go on to say that "Reforms should include a commitment to provide continuing care, capacity for outreach including home-based assessments, and holistic integrated care for patients with multimorbidities," also adding:

"Simple, structured assessment and attention to underlying frailties (little mobility, undernutrition, pain, incontinence, and cognitive and sensory impairment) might promote increased attention to the needs of older people and limit disability and dependence."

Primarily, one other key factor to improving outcomes is to improve the medical literacy for patients and their families in order to identify key factors related to treatment and long-term health goals. Additionally, they add that affordable health care should be addressed in social healthcare reform for elderly adults. "The development and evaluation of such models of care is urgently needed, particularly for their cost-effectiveness," the authors add.

"While some interventions will be universally applicable, it will be important that countries monitor the health and functioning of their aging populations to understand health trends and design programs that meet the specific needs identified.

Cross-national surveys - such as the WHO Study on Global Aging and Adult Health (SAGE), the Gallup World Poll, and other longitudinal cohorts studies of aging in Brazil, China, India, and South Korea - are beginning to redress the balance and provide the evidence for policy, but much more remains to be done."

New technologies also offer many ways of bringing health care to underserved older populations more efficiently, especially in rural areas," they add, noting that use of mobile clinics could be optimized, which offer an array of services usually found in hospitals.”

Dr. Somnath Chatterji, also from the Department of Health Statistics at WHO sums up the issue by remarking, "we need to look beyond the costs commonly associated with aging to think about the benefits that an older, healthier, happier, and more productive older population can bring to society as a whole."

CMS has continued to roll out new implementations in order to address these questions and issues. It’s hopeful that the changes will have developed into useful methodologies in order to tackle the growing number of long-term illness cases.

The link below offers a free webinar addressing the changes for 2015 OASIS assessments.