No Evidence that Identification and Early Intervention Helps At-Risk Seniors

    • December 1, 2003

From 1995 to 1999, researchers at California Pacific Medical Center evaluated a program to improve primary care for senior patients. The program—called the Identification and Early Intervention Program for At-Risk Seniors—sought to identify high-risk non-hospitalized seniors before a crisis arose that would have forced a hospital stay.

Brown & Toland Medical Group—a physicians services organization for over 16,000 physicians in San Francisco and San Mateo counties—had developed the program in 1993.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Chronic Care Initiatives in HMOs national program.

Key Findings: In an article in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers concluded:

"This study provides no statistically significant evidence that social work-oriented case management reduces the use or the cost of health care for high-risk older people. Other potentially favorable effects of this type of case management need to be evaluated, as do the effects of other types of case management."