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Meals on Wheels, Aetna partner to improve senior care

Meals on Wheels America announced a new national program with Aetna to collaborate on research and innovative models for patient care coordination. The pair will work to facilitate access to critical health and social services for America’s seniors at all stages of medical need, from preventive to post-hospital discharge.

The objective of the collaboration is to create a best in class model for care coordination, integrating Meals on Wheels’ daily nutritious meals, social support and critical safety checks into a continuum of care required as people age. 

Meals on Wheels and Aetna will pilot the model in several markets, and identify best practices intended to improve vulnerable seniors’ health outcomes. Results from the pilots will help build a scalable operational model that will address the challenges seniors face in their daily living.

“More than three-quarters of older adults have at least two chronic conditions,” said Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna chairman and CEO. “Having a reliable support system in place to observe their health on a regular basis can be just as important as the care they receive at the doctor’s office. Our work with Meals on Wheels America will help us make better connections with seniors in their homes and communities, and enable us to establish truly meaningful relationships that can improve the lives of this vulnerable population.”

With the senior population projected to double by the year 2050, this joint program is intended to create a replicable model that will encourage health care entities across the country to utilize home- and community-based service providers to address the significant challenges present in the nation’s health care system.

“This collaboration is an important step to fully integrate Meals on Wheels into the health care system,” said Ellie Hollander, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “We are thankful to Aetna for its generous support and leadership in working with health- and community-based service providers, and together, I am confident that we can support seniors in receiving the holistic care they need and deserve.”

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