2017 RFI for Eldercare Community Leaders Now Closed
[This is an archival version of a 2017 RFI for Eldercare Community Leaders that is retained here for historical purposes only. The application period closed on November 24, 2017, and funding for this project has concluded. A final report on the project will be issued in 2020. Wording of this post has been recast in the past tense to make it more clear for present-day readers.]
In 2017, our team at Altarum embarked on a very exciting project, and we were looking to invite a few leadership organizations concerned about improving eldercare within their geographic community to partner with us. At that time we had some funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to work on this exciting possibility. As of December, 2019, the project is drawing to a close and no further funding is available. The premise of the project was that aggregating existing personal data and analyzing it for the local population could give communities substantial insight into how well their local system is working and then guide them in improvement initiatives.
We were developing methods to bring together information about the needs of disabled elderly people and the supply and quality of services available. So much of what happens to elders living with disabilities depends upon the services available where they live. If an organization, whether a government entity or a private coalition, sets out to improve the experiences of elders and their families, they will need information about how well their local system works. We intend to help community leaders with this essential element — building metrics that will enable them to see strengths and shortcomings in the local system, to set priorities for investments and improvements, and to monitor the effects of efforts to improve.
In this funded project, we were looking to build on the current trends that move data from multiple sources into an integrated database, with the sources encompassing all manner of medical, behavioral, and supportive services. We aimed to make better use of data sources that many communities already have on hand, but which are underutilized as sources of guidance for improving how we care for elders needing support and medical care. Then, the community could analyze the data to identify shortages, oversupply, maldistribution, quality problems, and areas of high performance. Wouldn’t it be transformative to know whether your community’s elders generally have to move to nursing homes because there are very few disability-adapted housing options! Or that three-quarters of those eligible for and needing nutrition assistance are not receiving it. Perhaps you are concerned about the pressure ulcer rate, or the rate of use of major tranquillizers, and an aggregated data set would enable monitoring of these performance characteristics over time.
We knew of some communities that had been working on this sort of challenge, but we were casting a wider net. With a groundbreaking initiative like this, we needed to work with teams that already were partway along toward managing eldercare for their community, or something similar. We would connect these communities with one another and help provide needed expertise. We also had some funding to help incentivize local demonstration efforts.
As reference material for future endeavors, we keep the original RFI text available here. A complete version of the original announcement is available as a downloadable Word document or a PDF file.
Key points in the Request for Information – Issued October 18, 2017 – Closed as of 2018
1. Name(s) of person or persons submitting the form
2. Contact information for the submitter(s) – email, phone, address
3. Name or description of the community you are recommending? By “community” we mean a geographically-defined catchment area of some sort. Say also how would you would like to define the community geographically – city or county boundaries, ZIP codes, or some other boundary?
4. Roughly how many people live in the community?
5. Contact information for other leaders who are interested – perhaps from health systems, public health, Area Agencies on Aging, or existing coalitions or commissions.
6. Is there any organizational entity that views itself as responsible for the entire community’s elderly (rather than being responsible only for the clients from that community who use their services)?
7. Tell us a little about how elders living with disabilities associated with aging are doing. What problems are already recognized?
8. Within that community, what organizations are most involved in effort(s) to improve supportive services, medical care, caregivers, or other elements that are key to living well with disabilities in old age?
9. Why do you think this community’s leadership organizations would want to engage in this work? Can you suggest a few metrics that you feel would be helpful in guiding efforts to improve reliability and quality of eldercare in their community?
10. Tell us what you readily know about your health-related information systems. What is the status of digital information and interoperability? Is there a Health Information Exchange? Is there any entity that is already aggregating some data across different types of providers (e.g., Medicaid and other publicly paid social service is being combined with medical care information, or health care utilization is being joined with social services utilization)?