From 1995 to 1998, staff at the Council on Aging of the Cincinnati Area developed a project to enhance care for the frail elderly by linking acute and long-term care services and improving communication and coordination among providers.
It was designed to build on opportunities created by the Elderly Services Program, created after voter approval of a property tax levy that generated $12.6 million annually to provide comprehensive in-home care and community services to disabled older citizens.
The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Building Health Systems for People with Chronic Illnesses program.
- The initiative created a geriatric team, including a clinical nurse liaison and a geriatrician, to coordinate medical management of this high-risk group.
- Researchers examined the use of an advanced computer information system to link primary care physicians with home providers and the area's hospitals.
- The evaluation showed no major differences between the intervention and control groups, suggesting that there were not sufficient financial or regulatory incentives for providers to alter service patterns.