2018 Press Releases

We All Want “Healthy Aging,” But What is It & How Do We Promote It? New AGS Report Looks for Answers & Solutions

  • New report from #geriatrics experts at @AmerGeriatrics explores concept of “healthy #aging”: What it means, why it matters, how it can become a reality for us all as we age https://bit.ly/2EXZsIV

New York (Nov. 1, 2018)—“Healthy aging” sounds like a priority we all can share, but for geriatrics healthcare professionals—the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physicians assistants, social workers, and many others dedicated to the care we need as we age—that term represents something specific, and something worth defining. Led by Paul Mulhausen, MD, MHS, FACP, AGSF, colleagues from the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) set about doing just that as part of an expert panel convened to look critically at what “healthy aging” really means. Their definition—published in a white paper today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15644)—explores the intersection between our personal care goals and innovations in science, education, and public policy as the place where healthy aging may be understood best.

AGS Extends Deepest Condolences to Congregation of Tree of Life Synagogue

New York (Oct. 29, 2018)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS)—our members, leaders, and staff—extends our deepest condolences to the congregation of the Tree of Life synagogue, where a senseless act of gun violence this weekend claimed 11 lives, including a geriatrician who cared for older adults in Pittsburgh.

In offering our sympathy for those in Pittsburgh—and for the countless older adults, families, healthcare professionals, and so many others impacted by gun violence daily—we also continue to offer our voice, assistance, and expertise in the call for greater action on firearm-related injuries and deaths in the United States.

We join the American College of Physicians (ACP) and other colleagues across healthcare in condemning firearms violence and hate crimes—both as serious public health crises and as barriers to care our health workforce confronts all too often.

We remain resolved to continue our work with a diverse coalition of stakeholders to prevent firearms from being used intentionally or unintentionally to cause harm.

In Comments on 2019 Medicare Fee Schedule Proposal, AGS Calls for Putting Older People First

  • In comments to @CMSgov and legislators on 2019 #Medicare Fee Schedule Proposal #MPFS2019, @AmerGeriatrics and other #geriatrics stakeholders calls for putting older people first http://ow.ly/4HNV30m6hIg

New York (Oct. 4, 2018)—In a letter sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and described today in an extensive editorial published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS; DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15651), the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) voiced strong opposition to a proposal that would significantly change the way physicians and other qualified health care professionals are paid for Evaluation and Management (E/M) services under Medicare. According to AGS experts, the proposal presents a high risk for significant unintended consequences and could negatively impact patient care, especially for people with complex care needs. Outside the payment proposal, the AGS did commended CMS efforts to reduce the administrative burden associated with documentation requirements for E/M services, but continued to note that these positive steps forward could be overshadowed by changes to E/M payment, if finalized as written.

Cracking the (Reimbursement) Code: New Editorial Outlines a Decade of Hard Work, Big Changes to Advance Covering Care We Need as We Age

  • Cracking the (Reimbursement) Code: New @AGSJournal Editorial Outlines Decade of @AmerGeriatrics Hard Work, Big Changes to Advance Covering #Geriatrics Care We Need as We Age http://ow.ly/6XQM30m6hnn

New York (Oct. 4, 2018)—For millions of older adults who rely on Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people 65-years-old and older, it happens seamlessly and almost always behind-the-scenes: The care we receive from expert clinicians becomes five-digit “billing codes,” which in turn ensure our clinicians can be reimbursed for their work supporting our health, safety, and independence. But even billing codes have a story to tell—an important one at that, as experts from the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) describe in a new Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS) editorial (DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15593). The editorial outlines how several key health services—from those for managing chronic care to those for assessing cognitive health—came to be recognized as part of Medicare through an important but oft unsung facet of geriatrics expertise: its leaders’ engagement in building a better public policy environment to support the care we all need as we age.

New Geriatrics Research Offers Roadmap to “Revolutionary Change” for Person-Centered Care

  • New #geriatrics research published in @AGSJournal offers roadmap to “revolutionary change” for #personcenteredcare

New York (Oct. 3, 2018)—Published today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS), two new research articles and a corresponding commentary from preeminent geriatrics leaders describe ways to make person-centered care—a novel approach to health that puts personal values and preferences at the forefront of decision-making—more actionable for older people. With our national health system at a tipping point favoring care focused on personal priorities, these new studies are among the first to celebrate “thoughtful, systematic, and incremental” approaches to ending care long fragmented and fraught with the potential for poor communication between patients, caregivers, and health professionals.

“Making person-centered care a reality for older adults with complex care needs will take time and effort, including significant research to move promising approaches from the lab bench to the clinic,” said William B. Applegate, MD, MPH, AGSF, Editor-in-Chief of JAGS and lead author on the editorial addressing the two new studies (DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15536). “This work is helping test innovative strategies, which will move us toward a broader and more balanced approach to care while also providing an impetus to reengineer our care systems.”

New Report on Assessing Mobility Has Experts Moving Toward Consensus on Care We Need as We Age

  • New @AGSJournal report on assessing #mobility has experts moving toward consensus on care we need as we age #geriatrics @AmerGeriatrics http://ow.ly/obHV30lXOUF

New York (Oct. 2, 2018)—Experts at the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today unveiled a list of recommendations to help health systems prioritize a vital function for us all as we age: mobility. Mobility refers to our ability to move freely and easily (on our own or with assistance). Published today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS), the AGS white paper (DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15595) focuses on assessing mobility for hospitalized older adults, offering a roadmap for shifting health care’s focus away from negative markers of mobility loss and toward a deeper appreciation of ways mobility can be proactively assessed—and often preserved—to promote high-quality, person-centered care.1

Could Links Between Our Senses & Cognitive Health Explain Parts of How We Age? Experts Like the Sound (& Sight) of That, According to New Report

  • Could links between vision, hearing, & brain health explain parts of how we age? @AmerGeriatrics & #geriatrics experts like sound (& sight) of those connections, according to @AGSJournal report http://ow.ly/Ng4Y30lX4ge

New York (Sept. 24, 2018)—Experts at a prestigious medical conference hosted by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) hope their work—reported today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society—will have colleagues seeing eye-to-eye on an important but under-researched area of health care: The link between impaired vision, hearing, and cognition (the medical term for our memory and thinking capabilities, which are impacted as we age by health concerns like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease).1 With vision and hearing loss already affecting up to 40 percent of older adults1—and with one-in-ten older people already living with Alzheimer’s disease2—the conference reviewed the current state of science regarding how these common health challenges might be connected, why the answer might matter, and what can be done to reduce sensory and cognitive impairments to preserve our health for as long as possible.

New Online Tools Provide Best Practices in Surgical Care for Older Adults

Developed by a multi-specialty editorial board brought together by the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Geriatrics Society, and funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation, new virtual patient cases include a host of critical issues for older adults facing surgery, from medication management to end-of-life care planning

  • First of their kind #geriatrics virtual patient cases for Surgical and Related Medical Sub-Specialties from @ABMSCert @AmerGeriatrics @JohnAHartford put best practices for surgical care in hands of health professionals who will care for us all as we age https://bit.ly/2pdX31Z

New York (September 17, 2018)—The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), with funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation, today unveiled one of the field’s first suites of online tools to aid surgeons and related medical sub-specialists who care for older people. With the number of older adults undergoing surgery increasing faster than the rate of the population aging itself1, the new series of nine AGS’ Geriatrics Virtual Patient Cases (VPCs) for Surgical and Related Medical Sub-Specialties are geared toward helping the entire healthcare system better understand and respond to the unique care needs of older adults.

Draft AGS Updated 2018 Beers Criteria® for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults Now Posted for Public Comment

New York (Aug. 13, 2018)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today opened a public comment period for reviewing the draft AGS 2018 Updated Beers Criteria® for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults. Last updated in 2015, the AGS Beers Criteria® remain one of the most frequently cited reference tools in geriatrics, detailing certain types of medications which may be inappropriate to prescribe to older people who are not receiving hospice or palliative care. Comments from any and all members of the public—accepted only at https://www.americangeriatrics.org/form/ags-beers-criteria-public-comment through 5pm ET on Sept. 4, 2018—will help inform the final version of the AGS 2018 Updated Beers Criteria®, slated for release this fall. 

For their proposed 2018 update, the interprofessional panel of geriatrics experts responsible for the AGS Beers Criteria® identified more than 40 potentially problematic medications or classes of medications presently organized across five lists:

  • Two draft lists detail potentially inappropriate medications for most older adults or for those with specific health conditions; 

  • One draft list describes certain medications that should be used only with considerable caution; 

  • One draft list details specific medication combinations that may lead to harmful “drug-drug” interactions; and

House Budget Plan Proposes Unjustifiable Cuts Impacting Us All as We Age—AGS

Geriatrics experts today voiced grave concerns regarding drastic proposed cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, & other support platforms essential to us all as we age, as outlined in the U.S. House of Representatives.

New York (July 2, 2018)—In response to a budget blueprint in the U.S. House of Representatives proposing more than $530 billion in cuts to Medicare and more than $1.5 trillion in cuts to federal health programs overall—and a time when more Americans than ever before are poised to contribute to our communities thanks to federal services and supports—the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today redoubled its strong opposition to any plan for balancing governmental spending at the expense of older Americans.

“We are troubled by this budget proposal to decrease support for older adults even as more and more people across our communities approach age 65,” noted AGS Chief Executive Officer Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA. “Federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid have been essential to the forward momentum that has helped us live longer. We continue to offer our support and expertise to the many bipartisan legislators and experts working across the aisle on meaningful proposals that would help—not harm—us all as we age.”