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December 18, 2009

Johns Hopkins Geriatrician Named Health and Aging Policy Fellow

Chad Boult, MD, MPH, MBA, director of the Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has been awarded a Health and Aging Policy Fellowship funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies. The fellowship program places professionals in health and aging in legislative and policy roles to build their knowledge and support for health policies and legislation that affect older Americans. The program annually awards a limited number of fellowships to health professionals with a demonstrated commitment to health and aging issues and an interest in health policy at the federal, state or local level.

The 12-month fellowship began in October with orientation programs including the AcademyHealth Health Policy Orientation, Aging Policy Orientation and the American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship Program Orientation. Beginning December 14, Boult will serve his fellowship at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), working in the Office of Research, Development and Information (ORDI) and the Center for Medicare Management (CMM). At both of these sites, he will work with CMS leadership and staff to develop programs, regulations and proposals to improve the Medicare program.

“This opportunity to learn about and contribute to the implementation of federal policies that affect the health of older Americans has a direct bearing on my professional commitment to developing better care models for older adults,” said Boult. “My hope is that this fellowship can help create stronger links between medical research, practice, and payment models, so that all of us can ultimately provide better and more cost-effective care for older adults.”

Boult is the director of the Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.  He is also a professor of public health with joint appointments in the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine and Nursing. Boult is a geriatrician who has focused most of his career on developing and testing novel approaches to organizing, financing, and delivering health care to older populations.

In its December edition, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society released a research report, led by Boult, titled “Successful Models of Comprehensive Care for Older Adults with Chronic Conditions: Evidence for the IOM’s ‘Retooling for an Aging America’ Report”.  The report, commissioned by the Institute of Medicine, identified fifteen models of comprehensive health care that have shown the potential to improve the quality, efficiency, and/or health-related outcomes of care for chronically ill older persons. Additional authors include Ariel Frank Green, MD, MPH; Lisa Boult, MD, MPH, MA; James T. Pacala, MD, MS; Claire Snyder, PhD; and Bruce Leff, MD.

Boult’s current research includes Guided Care, a novel, multidisciplinary model of primary care for people with multiple chronic conditions. Guided Care is designed to improve patients’ quality of life and quality of health care, while increasing the efficiency of treating the sickest and most complex patients. The care teams include a registered nurse, two to five physicians, and other members of the office staff who work closely to monitor each patient’s health, and it offers comprehensive, coordinated, patient-centered health care. Early research results, presented at the World Health Summit in Berlin in October, suggest that Guided Care improves the quality of care and reduces costs for older adults suffering from multiple chronic health conditions.

A recently published study in the American Journal of Managed Care showed that in the first eight months of a randomized controlled trial, Guided Care patients spent less time in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities and had fewer emergency room visits and home health episodes, resulting in an annual net savings of $75,000 per Guided Care nurse. Other analyses have shown that Guided Care improves the quality of patients’ care, reduces family caregiver strain, and improves physicians’ satisfaction with chronic care.

The research and development of Guided Care has been supported by a public-private partnership of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Institute on Aging, the John A. Hartford Foundation, the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States Region, Johns Hopkins HealthCare, and the Roger C. Liptiz Center for Integrated Health Care.  For more information, please go to: www.GuidedCare.org.

Drawing on his experience with Guided Care, Dr. Boult received a grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation to provide technical assistance to medical practices that participate in the upcoming national Medicare Medical Home Demonstration. The Lipitz Center developed and will provide participating primary care practices with online courses for nurses, physicians and practice leaders, a practice implementation manual, and technical assistance in meeting the Medicare Medical Home Demonstration’s requirements. For more information, please go to: www.MedHomeInfo.org

About the Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program

Supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies and directed by Harold Alan Pincus, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University in collaboration with the American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship Program, the Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program provides professionals in health and aging with the experience and skills necessary to make a positive contribution to the development and implementation of health policies that affect older Americans.