California Health Report: Strange bedfellows unite to help older adults

By Matt Perry 

In the near future, successful care for older adults will depend on bold and creative collaborations.

That’s the message aging pioneer Ken Dychtwald gave last month’s Aging in America conference. Dychtwald, CEO of the consulting group Age Wave, might as well have been describing the “strange bedfellows” collaboration between two organizations often considered mortal enemies – a county aging services agency and a managed health care plan.

In San Diego County, Aging and Independence Services (AIS) has long been heralded as one of the nation’s most progressive organizations serving older adults. It acts as the local Area Agency on Aging, or AAA – one of 59 statewide.

Today, AIS is at the forefront of several creative initiatives to help coordinate care for the county’s vulnerable aging population, including a planned collaboration with the Care1st managed care health plan.

What? An aging services organization partnering with managed care?

Over the past several years, the managed care health plans have struck fear at the heart of California’s aging advocates, who worry the state’s move to place its older, poor and disabled citizens under their supervision will mean the denial of needed health treatment and social services.

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

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