ARLINGTON, Va. – Meals on Wheels America announced today a new national program with Aetna to collaborate on groundbreaking research and innovative models for patient care coordination. The nonprofit and Fortune 50 health company will work together 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 this model in several markets, and identify best practices intended to improve vulnerable seniors' health outcomes. Results from these 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. 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," said Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna chairman and CEO. "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."
About Meals on Wheels America
Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America's seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 44.7 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna's customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.
Aetna Media Contact
Meals on Wheels America
Jenny Bertolette Young