Press Ganey on the Very Elderly

sgruber-200 (1)By Sarianne Gruber
Twitter: @subtleimpact

The aging population in the US brings with it special concerns that will inevitably change the focus of many healthcare providers and organizations. Press Ganey, a leader in patient experience measurement, released last month its newest research on Patient Experience in the Very Elderly: An Emerging Strategic Focus.  The Research Note, co-authored by Press Ganey CMO, Thomas H. Lee, MD, and Deirdre Mylod, PhD, SVP of Research and Analytics, highlights the demographic and market findings, and encourages health care organizations to rethink their clinical and strategic focus on the “Very Elderly” population (defined as patients 80 years of age and older).  Based on an analysis of responses from more than 1.5 million patients, the study provides detailed insights into utilization and patient experience trends among Very Elderly patients. Here are some noteworthy takeaways:

An Aging Population is creating new goals for healthcare:

  1. How to hold on to Medicare patients and succeed financially under Medicare payment rates
  2. How to work more closely with Medicare for cost and care of octogenarians
  3. How to create health care that is compassionate and coordinated using a team-based approach
  4. How to meet the needs of the Very Elderly evidenced in low patient experience ratings
  5. How to compete for market-share for Medicare patients because it is becoming a high-stakes priority

An Aging Population has a high impact on demographic trends for healthcare:

  1. Only 3.5% of the U.S. population is over 80 years of age, yet the Very Elderly has a dominant presence in hospitals, emergency departments and outpatient practices.
  2. Patients over 80 account for 27% of medical service 12% of surgical admissions and their length of stays are longer
  3. Very Elderly population is steadily increasing with aging baby boomers and longer life expectancy
  4. Disease burden associated with aging leads higher demand of resources and care
  5. Medical advances has become more aggressive for treating the Very Elderly; Multiple medications for comorbidities leads to adherence issues and drug safety concerns

An Aging Population has an escalation of clinical needs as represented by market trends:

  1. Payers are resistant to give increases in fee-for-service payment rates for Medicare shortfalls
  2. Selections on new insurance options are tend to be either “ narrowed or tiered networks”
  3. Providers need to compete for patients on both costs and quality for value
  4. Providers can “no longer focus solely on their market share of higher-paying commercially-insured patients.”
  5. Providers need ” to meet the needs of their Medicare patients the subset of them that need and uses the most healthcare – the Very Elderly.”

The Research Note also provides graphs and tables presenting the patient experience data from 1.5M patients surveyed using the HCAHPS ratings. Recommendations are also suggested as to how providers can best meet the needs of the Very Elderly.

To read the full report, a download the Research Note, Patient Experience in the Very Elderly: An Emerging Strategic Focus is available.

About Press Ganey

Press Ganey Holdings is a leading provider of patient experience measurement, performance analytics and strategic advisory solutions for health care organizations across the continuum of care. Celebrating 30 years of experience, Press Ganey is recognized as a pioneer and thought leader in patient experience measurement and performance improvement solutions. Our mission is to help health care organizations reduce patient suffering and improve clinical quality, safety and the patient experience. As of January 1, 2015, we served more than 22,000 health care facilities.