California Healthline: S.F. Alzheimer’s Pilot Results Released

by David Gorn
Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pilot project results from California were presented yesterday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Boston. A six-month coordinated care study involving Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers based in San Francisco yielded impressive reductions in use of emergency department services along with other care improvements.

“Emergency room services were significantly reduced, almost cut in half,” said Elizabeth Edgerly, chief program officer for Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California. “It was at about 40%.”

The reduction in emergency care indicates not only that patients are getting better care, but also that the project has the potential to save a lot of money, Edgerly said.

“That’s a hard outcome to achieve. It looks like we may reduce costs at the same time. We help the patient do better, reduce crises and use of the ER. That’s a win-win,” Edgerly said. “We’ve shown many times you can improve quality, but [also reducing costs], it’s hard to achieve that. That’s why we’re so excited about this project.”

Edgerly was in Boston yesterday presenting the findings of the San Francisco study.

The Excellence in Dementia Care project is a joint effort of the Alzheimer’s Association, Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, the city and county of San Francisco and UC-San Francisco, with some funding from the federal Administration on Aging, she said. The project hired a full-time dementia support nurse, established a 24-hour help line and consultation services and helped train existing caregivers in an effort to proactively head off crises and reduce emergency situations.

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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
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