A collection of resources and policy news and analysis for healthcare and community-based providers, policymakers, advocates and other stakeholders caring for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
West Health’s mission is to lower healthcare costs to enable seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. Through applied medical research, policy, advocacy and outcomes-based funding, we focus on studying, developing, and advancing scalable, sustainable, and more affordable healthcare delivery models that lower healthcare costs to enable seniors to successfully age in place.
To provide seniors in San Diego County with greater and improved access to the COVID-19 vaccine, in early February 2021 the Gary and Mary West Foundation and West PACE in coordination with the County of San Diego, City of San Marcos, and local community-based organizations we stood up the county’s first senior-only vaccination clinic. Some of the unique features of the site included:
West Health is leveraging our partnership with local Emergency Departments (EDs) throughout the County and connecting them with post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) facilities to implement telehealth capabilities for vulnerable seniors. We are providing implementation support and the necessary tools to ensure seniors are connected with local EDs to improve access and treat in place. Our San Diego network of EDs are serving a variety of facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, independent senior living communities, as well as the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center.
In addition to providing telehealth to PALTCs, West Health is also leading the way in proactively testing for COVID-19, not just at the person level, but for entire communities. We know that vulnerable seniors with shared living spaces or those living in close quarters are at the highest risk of infection. In response, we are partnering with UCSD and Serving Seniors to launch a program aimed at testing for COVID-19 at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center and Potiker Family Senior Residence to proactively identify and treat patients for COVID-19. By leading the way in testing entire facilities and their staff, our goal is to have other health systems and PALTCs follow our lead.
PACE participants are highly vulnerable during this COVID-19 pandemic. In response, PACE organizations are shifting their care model to provide more services to participants in their homes using telehealth – allowing participants’ needs to be addressed while reducing the risk of transmission and protecting the health of PACE participants. This is a perfect time to implement telehealth in your PACE clinic and conduct virtual visits that will enable you to address the needs of these medically complex individuals while maintaining social distancing guidelines related to the COVID-19 outbreak. We have developed the following resources to help you start your telehealth program.
Healthcare providers are facing increasing challenges in caring for the medical needs of their senior population in response to COVID-19. In efforts to reduce transmission of the virus, medical providers have canceled or delayed many appointments and home visits leaving seniors in need of medical care. This is a perfect time to start using telehealth to conduct virtual visits with homebound patients while maintaining social distancing guidelines related to the COVID-19 outbreak. We have developed the following resources to help you start your telehealth program.
Learn about the latest policy developments on telehealth, hospice and palliative care, economic relief and more.
*COVID-19 health policy briefings provided by Hart Health Strategies (HHS).
Learn how the Gary and Mary West Foundation and its grantees are ramping up their support of vulnerable seniors and their families during the COVID-19 crisis.