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Care Coordination on Minorities with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia

Principal Investigator Jie Chen, with Andrew Fenelon and others, was awarded a grant to study care coordination on ethnic minority populations

Faculty Associate and Principal Investigator Jie Chen along with colleagues and Faculty Associate Andrew Fenelon received a $1.3 million grant from the National Institute of Aging for a study titled “Effect of Hospital and Community Care Coordination on Health Care Access, Quality and Equity among Individuals with Risk Factors or Diagnosis of ADRD.” The study is aiming to identify care coordination practices and Accountable Care Organization (ACOs) structures that could improve health care access, the quality of care and also costs for African Americans and Latinos over the age of 65 diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (ADRD) as well as their risk factors. Previous research, including the research team’s own work, have shown that care coordination among hospital and public health are important factors capable of improving health quality and reducing racial/ethnic disparities.

Project aims include to “create a data infrastructure of linked Medicare fee for service and Medicare Advantage claims data, conduct feasibility tests of care coordination impact, and provide preliminary finding of the association between ACO model/care coordination practice and health care use for people with ADRD or risk factors for ADRD.” The research team is predominantly interested in understanding care coordination and ACO among racial and ethnic minorities who have received federal housing assistance that may have also gone through periods of homelessness. The majority of ethnic minority groups are African Americans and Latinos facing risk factors for ADRD, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Such groups are the hardest to reach and the ones that would benefit more from system-level care coordination.

As the research team states, “Improving care coordination is essential to meet the growing demand for ADRD treatment, while controlling costs and improving quality of service delivery." The study also will provide a foundation for future initiatives to identify the best care coordination practices that can improve effective management of ADRD and co-existing conditions; control/reduce modifiable risk factors of ADRD; and eventually promote population health and reduce health disparities.