Forum Session

Pursuing High-Quality Care for an Aging Population: Challenges and Opportunities
March 29, 2013


Lisa Sprague, MBA


There is great emphasis at this time on resetting the health care system so that what health plans, the government, and ultimately consumers are paying for is value, not volume. However, since value is a function of both quality and cost, it is imperative that payers (and policymakers) be able to define what constitutes quality in segments of the population comprising high users of health care services. Perhaps the most significant of these is people with multiple chronic conditions, many of them elderly.

There are questions about the extent to which the metrics in use to measure and reward provider performance reflect the prevailing burden of illness and a growing recognition that high-quality care goes beyond the clinical to consider a patient’s goals, values, functional status, and social supports. Some providers and health systems have begun to develop care models, training modules, and patient/caregiver engagement strategies to implement this broader view.

This Forum session explored the key dimensions of high-quality care and the opportunities and challenges that providers, payers, and policymakers face in their efforts to improve care delivery and outcomes.


Joanne Lynn, MD, MA, MS (bio)
Altarum Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness

David Reuben, MD (bio)
Multicampus Program in Geriatrics Medicine and Gerontology
Division of Geriatrics
Center for Health Sciences
University of California, Los Angeles

Sharon Foerster, LCSW (bio)
Program Manager
MaineHealth Elder Care Services (Maine Medical Center)

Related Materials

David B. Reuben and Mary E. Tinetti, "Goal-Oriented Patient Care--An Alternative Health Outcomes Paradigm," New England Journal of Medicine, 366 (March 1, 2012).

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