The innovative model of care saves money, improves patient satisfaction, and may boost Medicare Advantage plan enrollment.

Health care costs are disproportionately high in older adults and they continue to rise.

Among the most vulnerable and costly to the health care system: Older adults with back and neck pain, other musculoskeletal disorders, diabetes, falls, heart disease, arthritis, dementia, hypertension, limited access to health care, or poor social determinants of health.

Furthermore, experts in population dynamics have described a Silver Tsunami that will further compound the rise in health care costs without considering the current future impacts of COVID-19 on older adults. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has further limited older adults’ access to care and social distancing will result in significantly higher physical, functional, cognitive, and expressive decline in older adults. It will also result in higher downstream hospitalizations and cost. Active older adults are 57 percent less likely to visit the emergency room (ER) and 86 percent less likely to be hospitalized

Rising health care costs are a multifactorial problem that disproportionately affect older adults and the COVID-19 pandemic will further compound this issue. But there is a low-cost, high impact care delivery model that significantly reduce downstream costs in the older adult population and is feasible within a COVID-19 environment.

Geriatric House Calls, provided by highly trained physical, occupational, and speech therapists, enhance access and treat the physical, functional, cognitive, and expressive decline associated with many chronic diseases, sedentary behavior, and lack of social interaction that is more prevalent due to COVID-19.

Learn more about this model, the typical patient profile, clinical advantages, health care cost savings, and its role within a COVID-19 environment at our upcoming webinar with RISE: Geriatric House Calls: An Innovative Solution to an Age-Old Program, 1:30 p.m. EST, Thursday, Oct. 1. The webinar is free to RISE Association members. Click here for more information and to register for the program.


About the author

Dr. William Dieter, director of PT clinical services, FOX Rehabilitation, received his doctorate in physical therapy (DPT) from Thomas Jefferson University in 2011 and graduated summa cum laude as a member of the Alpha Eta Honor Society. He has been the Director of PT Clinical Services at FOX Rehabilitation, overseeing the clinical practice of several hundred physical therapists, since 2014. He more recently became the Director of the FOX Geriatric Residency in Physical Therapy, from which he graduated in 2013 and obtained his board certification in geriatric physical therapy. He is also adjunct faculty at Rutgers University and has performed original research and presented on the topics of translational research and quality improvement in various settings. Two of his original research papers, on the topic, have been accepted for peer-reviewed publication.