Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Integrated Care for Older Adults in Rural Communities

Abstract: 

With a focus on community-dwelling older adults in need of integrated physical, behavioral health services, and long term services and supports (LTSS), this brief reviews the opportunities and challenges reform initiatives under the Affordable Care Act present for rural communities. The authors assessed four types of organizational models for delivering integrated care management. Each of these models has different strengths and drawbacks, weighing for and against implementation in rural areas.

KEY FINDINGS:

  • Introducing an integrated care model in a rural community requires an investment in building relationships with local providers and adapting to local culture and services.
  • Integrated care models that cannot adapt to the local delivery system are more likely to face resistance from local providers and those they serve and potentially duplicate or displace existing rural capacity.
  • Most models of integrated care management have an inherent bias toward larger organizations and infrastructure. Most are built on an investment in health information technology and other systems and capacities.
  • The potential success of any integrated care model is limited by gaps in the continuum of health care services and long term services and supports available in a rural community.
  • “Wraparound” integrated care models can fill gaps in existing care coordination capacity, offering a flexible approach that can adapt to a local rural delivery system.   
  • An investment of public resources in shared supports can lower the cost of integrating care in rural delivery systems.

Suggested Citation:  Griffin E, Coburn AF. Integrated Care for Older Adults in Rural Communities. Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service, Maine Rural Health Research Center; May, 2014. Research & Policy Brief PB-54.

To view or download the full study, please visit the Maine Rural Health Research Center website at http://usm.maine.edu/muskie/cutler/mrhrc-publications

Publication Type: 
Research and Policy Brief
Publish Date: 
May 1, 2014
URL: 
http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/Publications/rural/Integrated-Care-Rural-PolicyBrief.pdf

Connect with Cutler

What makes the Cutler Institute unique? We are committed to our clients and partners and work closely with you to examine the root of an issue and provide sustainable solutions. Learn more about our work and services, and connect with our team of experts.

Learn More

Muskie Public Health Graduate Students Present at Maine CDC Conference

MPH graduate student Trevey Davis describing the academic program to a conference attendee at Maine CDC Division of Infectious Disease Annual Conference.

The Muskie School of Public Service, Graduate Program in Public Health, and the Maine Public Health Institute exhibited at the Maine CDC Division of Infectious Disease Annual Conference and the concurrent Immunization Annual Conference.  Practice faculty member, Judy Tupper, DHEd, CHES, CPPS and MPH graduate student Trevey Davis spoke with many of the 500 public health professionals attending the conferences.  In addition, Muskie Public Health Education Corps members Carissa Parent, Jacey Keller, and Nikki Busmanis, (MPH graduate students) presented a research poster based on their recent Lyme disease educational intervention pilot in Maine schools.  Dr. Tupper also presented a poster regarding the results of the online training pilot program for Maine EMS personnel on the topic of infection control and prevention.  Educating Fifth Graders on Tick- and Mosquito-Borne Diseases and Prevention Methods" at the Maine CDC Division of Infectious Disease Annual Conference.

Learn More

Justice Research

Cover: Maine Crime and Justice Data Book 2014

Using the most recent public safety, corrections, and court data available, the Maine Crime and Justice Data Book presents a portrait of the state's crime and justice indicators, including 10-year trends in Maine and comparisons with northern New England and the U.S. at large.

Learn More

Sign up to receive news

Sign up here to receive our newsletter, info on new research and publications, or invitations to special events!

Learn More

Connect With Us