Concerned with providing quality care while also lowering health care costs, the co-director of the UA's Arizona Center on Aging, Mindy Fain, created a new model for caring for elderly patients.
"We have evidence that shows we can dramatically reduce costs, and improve care," she said.
Her project suggests delivering care at home, taking advantage of new technologies that can provide sophisticated care while avoiding frequent visits to the hospital, she explained.
"The team includes nurse practitioners, physicians, pharmacists, nurses, social workers, community health workers, everyone there is involved...in identifying what the patient and family needs are," she said.
Then, the team - composed of geriatric specialists and other providers, and the patient and family - would create a health plan together, to teach people how to properly take care of themselves, and avoid hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
Her home-centered care model, called Healthy Together, is being tested at the University of Arizona Medical Center.