MEDICARE: Launches Healthy Aging Project
The Department of Health and Human Services this week launched a $3.7 million Healthy Aging Project to evaluate which strategies are most effective in reducing the behavioral risk factors that lead to chronic illness among the elderly. According to HHS, chronic disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for three out of four deaths. Under the new project, the RAND Corp. will conduct a five-year evaluation to identify strategies that have been successful in promoting a healthy aging experience. RAND will specifically look at ways to reduce behavioral risk factors in Medicare beneficiaries in both managed care and fee-for-service plans. For example, the study will examine strategies that promote mammograms, colorectal cancer screening and flu shots. HHS Secretary Donna Shalala said, "A key challenge for our scientists and medical experts will be finding improved ways to slow or prevent physical disabilities in our nation's elderly. This project will help to accomplish that worthy goal." HCFA developed the project in collaboration with the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, the National Institute on Aging, the Administration on Aging, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (HHS release, 10/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.