Issue Brief: Care Coordination and Older Adults

Care coordination has emerged as a promising element of successful health care and long-term service delivery models. It unites a team of providers to meet individual needs, improves health care access and outcomes, and synchronizes the variety of long-term services and supports.  In these models, a care coordinator works closely with the individual, family caregivers, primary care provider, and other health care professionals to improve communication, resulting in improved individual well-being and outcomes.

Initiatives aimed at improving care coordination are especially timely.  The prevalence of multiple chronic conditions and functional impairment within the aging population is increasing.  Older individuals with multiple chronic conditions need health care that is well coordinated with any needed long-term services and supports. At the same time, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is tasked with testing and rapidly disseminating innovative health care delivery models and alternative payment structures over the next eight years to improve quality while reducing cost.