Week In Review

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Date: 4/5/2019


AGS Joins AMA and Other Leading Organizations Appealing Decision to Strike Down the ACA

The American Medical Association (AMA) with other leading organizations, including the AGS, filed an amicus brief earlier this week in the case of Texas v. United States, appealing a decision that would strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its entirety. Last December, a district court in Texas ruled that the ACA's individual mandate (the part of the law requiring health insurance) was unconstitutional and that it could not be severed from the rest of the ACA. If upheld, the court decision jeopardizes a range of important programs authorized by the ACA. The AGS will do all we can to support high-quality, person-centered, and affordable care solutions moving forward. We appreciate the opportunity to join AMA and several other concerned medical societies on this important issue.

Did You Know...The ACA has improved access to health insurance for more than 20 million Americans through the expansion of Medicaid and the introduction of an insurance marketplace. Several critical elements of the law serve the growing needs of older adults specifically, from the ACA's closing of the Medicare prescription "donut hole" to its elimination of cost-sharing deductibles or copayments for vital preventive health services. The ACA also ushered in a host of reforms aimed at improving care quality and efficiency for Americans covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or both. Learn more about our work on health reform.

We Need All Health Providers to be Proficient in Geriatrics-Informed Care; A New JAGS Study Explores how the AGS Aquifer Geriatrics Online Curriculum Brings Us Closer

Among many breakthroughs that have made living longer possible, better health care—and more experts to make that care possible—loom large. But with a limited number of geriatricians, how are we to train the next generation of clinicians to optimally care for older people? A new tool from the AGS and Aquifer (the non-profit leader in developing clinical learning tools for health professions education) holds promise for bridging that gap.

Aquifer Geriatrics (available at Aquifer.org/Courses/Aquifer-Geriatrics/), the AGS national online curriculum in geriatrics, is leveraging e-learning and geriatrics' thought-leadership to advance much-needed training to care for older adults. An article published today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS; DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15813) introduces the Aquifer Geriatrics curriculum and walks through several of its early successes, as well as strategies to help clinicians and institutions adopt the platform. In a related editorial also published in JAGS (DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15901), independent educational experts noted that the program holds promise for "helping to fill the gap that is left by the shortage of geriatrics educators" in preparing the field to "play the long game," thanks to innovative solutions to education. Learn more.

Lown Institute Calls for National Action Plan to Address Overprescribing

In a report released this week on "Medication Overload: America's Other Drug Problem," the Lown Institute, working with a number of AGS members and other experts, examines the culture of medicine, knowledge gaps, and fragmented healthcare system, all of which have driven the systemic problem of overprescribing. The report calls for a national strategy to address medication overload, offering interventions targeting the main drivers of the issue and pointing toward policies developed internationally as a framework to draft the national action plan. Learn more here, and access the full report here.

Request a Song for the #AGS19 Dance Party!

Got a song on repeat? Put on your best dancing shoes and get ready by requesting your favorite songs ahead of the #AGS19 Dance Party! The only caveat: If you send a request, you MUST dance!

Image of Schultz's Peanuts characters dancing and playing music


Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program Applications Close Apr. 15

The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program aims to create a cadre of leaders who will serve as change agents in health and aging policy. The year-long fellowship offers a rich and unique training and enrichment program focused on current policy issues, communication skills, and networking to provide fellows with the experience necessary to help affect policy. Applications are due by Mon., Apr. 15. Click here to learn more.

Help Us Honor the Contributions of Leaders We've Lost

Do you know a colleague, mentor, geriatrics health professional, researcher, or advocate who passed away recently? Complete this brief survey so we can honor their memory at #AGS19. Please feel free to share this survey with colleagues and friends so we can commemorate all who deserve our thanks.