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December 12, 2007

Better Care for Older People With Chronic Diseases: An Emerging Vision

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, University of California, Los Angeles.

JAMA. 2007;298(22):2673-2674. doi:10.1001/jama.298.22.2673

With the increase in life expectancy and aging of the baby boom generation, the United States is rapidly becoming a country in which health care needs are driven by older persons with chronic diseases. Unfortunately, the current health care system is unable to provide high-quality care for this population, particularly for those who have geriatric conditions such as dementia, falls, and urinary incontinence.1 In response to poor quality, the Institute of Medicine has called for fundamental changes in how care is provided.2 Such change has been exceptionally difficult because of an outmoded financing system, slow adoption of information technology, and overwhelming inertia in all sectors of the health care delivery system.