2017 Press Releases

Latest Health Reform Proposal Jeopardizes Care for us All as we Age

Graham-Cassidy bill - newest proposal in a line of legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will harm access to key health services for older Americans, families, caregivers, and healthcare professionals.

New York (Sept. 20, 2017)— The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) opposes the Graham-Cassidy bill, the most recent attempt at health reform and one that would again have harmful consequences for older adults. Released last week, the Graham-Cassidy bill would cut benefits, increase costs, and reduce coverage for too many Americans – especially older adults.

“The Graham-Cassidy bill will have a negative impact on us all as we age,” notes Nancy E. Lundebjerg, MPA, Chief Executive Officer of the AGS. “The bill will make drastic changes to Medicaid resulting in deep cuts that will impact older adults’ access to long-term care, including nursing home care and home health care. We call on Congress to work with the American public and stakeholders to design health system reforms that improve access and care quality for all Americans.”

As an advocate for older Americans and the health professionals who serve them, the AGS is deeply concerned that the Senate will be voting on a legislative proposal that has not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and has not been open to the public or stakeholder organizations for review and comment.

About the American Geriatrics Society

Four National Medical Societies and Nine Leading Health Systems Collaborate to Improve Geriatric Emergency Care

Initiative promoting innovation and shared learnings supported by $3 million grant from  The John A. Hartford Foundation and Gary and Mary West Health Institute

New York (Sept. 13, 2017)—Four national medical societies and nine leading health systems announced today they have established a new national geriatric emergency department collaborative (GEDC) to help improve emergency care for our nation’s older adults.

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), American Geriatrics Society (AGS), Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) will work with a team of experts in geriatric emergency care to support health systems across the United States in identifying, studying and sharing best practices in emergency care for seniors, with about half of all older adults visiting the emergency department each year.

New Geriatrics Legislation Promises a Better Present and Future for Us All as We Age—AGS

New York (Sept. 11, 2017)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today offered a ringing endorsement of the Geriatrics Workforce and Caregiver Enhancement Act (H.R. 3713), a proposal for programs addressing the shortage of health professionals equipped to care for us all as we age, as well as supports for older adults, caregivers, and the interdisciplinary teams responsible for delivering high-quality care. Introduced by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), and David McKinley (R-W.V.), the bill draws on considerable insights from the Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA), a collaborative comprised of more than 30 member organizations co-convened by the AGS and now reflecting the diverse expertise of millions of professionals who support health in aging for older Americans.

“The future we’re working for at the AGS—a future where all older Americans have access to high-quality, person-centered care—begins by building the workforce to make it possible—and by ensuring that workforce can connect us to the tools and supports we need as we age,” notes AGS Chief Executive Officer Nancy E. Lundebjerg, MPA. “We commend Reps. Schakowsky, Matsui, and McKinley for working with us and our partners to make that future a reality with the Geriatrics Workforce and Caregiver Enhancement Act.”

Bipartisan Collaboration Opens Door to Strengthen Nation's Healthcare System, AGS

New York (August 7, 2017)—With renewed calls for bipartisan collaboration supporting high-quality, person-centered, and affordable health coverage for us all as we age, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today reached out to leaders from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to reinforce core priorities "that matter to the millions of older adults and caregivers who we serve in the clinic—and who you serve in Congress."

AGS Encourages Bipartisan Collaboration on Health Reform Proposals

New York (July 24, 2017)—With the U.S. Senate continuing to move forward with plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) calls on Congressional leaders to work across the aisle and with stakeholders to develop policy proposals that will support the health and well-being of all Americans.

“Each of the proposed bills presently under consideration calls for drastic cuts to Medicaid, the largest public payer for long-term care services and supports for older Americans. These cuts would negatively impact older Americans and those who care for them," notes AGS CEO Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA. “AGS remains opposed to the current slate of policy proposals.”

Like many other organizations, the AGS believes that Congress must invite stakeholder input, hold public hearings, and provide ample opportunity for feedback from the American public regarding policy proposals that will build on the gains made under the ACA. Any replacement plan should reduce regulatory burdens that detract from care and increase costs. It remains particularly important that proposed reforms:

Senate Health Reform Proposal Jeopardizes Care for Us All as We Age, AGS Experts

Newest proposal in a line of legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will harm access to key health services for older Americans, families, caregivers, and healthcare professionals, statement from AGS

June 22, 2017 (New York)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) opposes the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). Released today, the Senate proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mirrors many provisions of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill which narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives on May 4 despite serious concerns voiced by the AGS and many other stakeholders. Like the AHCA, the new Senate proposal would drastically cut Medicaid funding—an important source of support for most vulnerable citizens, particularly older Americans who rely on this program for long-term care services and supports.

As an advocate for older Americans and the health professionals who serve them, the AGS is deeply concerned that the Senate will be voting on a legislative proposal that has had no Committee hearings and has not been open to the public or stakeholder organizations for review and comment.

New Report from Prestigious NIA-Funded Conference Looks at Integrating Frailty Research into Care as We Age

June 20, 2017 (New York)—Though it is one of the most frequently used health indicators as more and more of us age, frailty—the medical term for increased vulnerability to declines in health or a loss of independence—remains under-studied and under-utilized, so say researchers reporting on a prestigious conference hosted by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA), with support from the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) and The John A. Hartford Foundation. Conference findings, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, are poised to advance not only a consensus definition for frailty but also our understanding of its biology, assessment, and role in improving care across several specialties, from cardiology and geriatrics to behavioral and social sciences.

Convened in 2015 for recipients of the NIA’s Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists Transition into Aging Research (GEMSSTAR) program, the NIA “U13” conference brought together more than 75 scholars, researchers, leaders in the fields of aging and frailty, and NIA representatives to present and further stimulate research on frailty, particularly across the array of disciplines involved in the high-quality, person-centered care we all will need as we age.

AGS Welcomes 18 New Fellows Recognized for Exceptional Commitment to Geriatrics

New York (June 2, 2017)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) has honored 18 leading healthcare professionals who joined the newest class of AGS Fellows—a select group of experts recognized for their deep commitment to the AGS and to advancing high-quality, person-centered care for us all as we age.

“AGS Fellows join some of the foremost professionals in our field,” noted Debra Saliba, MD, MPH, AGSF, President of the AGS, in recognizing the new AGS Fellows at the AGS 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS17; May 18-20 in San Antonio, Texas). “We are celebrating their accomplishments not only as individuals but also as members of the larger geriatrics community represented by the AGS.”

This year’s fellows hail from all four corners of the country and reflect the increasingly interprofessional nature of geriatrics as a field attracting doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physicians assistants, social workers, and many others. They include:

AGS Raises Serious Concerns on Cuts to Geriatrics Health Professional Training, Research, & Medicaid in 2018 Budget Proposal

New York (May 23, 2017)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) voiced deep concern for proposed cuts to geriatrics health professions programs (which would be eliminated), healthcare research, Medicaid, and a range of services benefitting us all as we age—all cuts outlined by President Trump in his full budget proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, which begins on October 1, 2017.

Released today in follow-up to the President’s “skinny budget” blueprint, which also saw serious opposition from the AGS and geriatrics leaders when unveiled earlier this year, today’s more extensive budget recommendation poses serious challenges for older adult well-being:

A Lecture 75 Years in the Making Celebrates the Past, Present, Future of Care for Older Adults

San Antonio, Texas (May 18, 2017)—As the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today celebrates its 75 year history improving care for older adults, Past AGS President and veteran geriatrics researcher James T. Pacala, MD, MS, AGSF, will highlight where geriatrics has been and where it has yet to go in a special 75th Anniversary Lecture at the AGS 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting, taking place this week in San Antonio, Texas. Delivered from 11am to 12pm CT at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Dr. Pacala’s presentation will address past advances in the care of older adults that have contributed significantly to our increased longevity as a nation.

Professor and Associated Head, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Pacala has performed research and published extensively on models of care for older adults and on innovative teaching methods for training future healthcare professionals. Dr. Pacala is a Past President and Board Chair of the AGS, and has co-authored several of the Society’s most influential texts—most notably early editions of its annual reference handbook, Geriatrics At Your Fingertips. What brings Dr. Pacala to the #AGS17 podium today, however, is his prowess as an AGS and geriatrics historian.