AGS Releases Statement Encouraging Bipartisan Health Reform Collaboration

July 24, 2017

The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) recently released a statement calling upon congressional leaders in the US Senate regarding the seemingly imminent repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In the statement, AGS CEO Nany Lundebjerg, MPA, comments that Senate members should work “across the aisle and with stakeholders” to work towards health reform proposals in support of quality care for Americans.

Ms Lundbejerg also said, “Each of the proposed bills presently under consideration calls for drastic cuts to Medicaid, the largest public payer for long-term care services and supports for older Americans. These cuts would negatively impact older Americans and those who care for them…. AGS remains opposed to the current slate of policy proposals.”
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AGS hopes that Congress will be sure to “invite stakeholder input, hold public hearings, and provide ample opportunity for feedback,” so that any new reforms to health care build upon previous gains achieved under the ACA.

Seven specific recommendations were made by AGS that they feel are particularly important in the coming discussions of health reform. Some of these include expanding health care options for older adults related to in-home and other care; helping older adults and their caregivers understand and make the most of Medicare and other benefits; providing caregivers with adequate support; and strengthening care coordination as well as primary and preventative care.

In addition, AGS would like research on age-related health problems to be increased and the “acute and growing nationwide shortage of geriatrics healthcare professionals” to be addressed, making sure that “all healthcare providers have training” related to the care of older people.

AGS also highlighted concerns related to value-based purchasing and the impact of quality initiatives related to care.

The full statement was released on July 24, 2017, and can be read on the AGS website under the Media section.—Amanda Del Signore