WEST HEALTH POLICY CENTER
We support and promote healthcare delivery models and corresponding federal, state and local policies that 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. Our priority is first and foremost to seniors and their families, which within the next 15 years will be 20 percent of our population, representing one of the largest demographic shifts in U.S. history. This shift will put new pressures on our healthcare system, which is highly fragmented and geared more toward the management and treatment of acute illness rather than chronic disease and other pressing issues facing seniors.
1. We are focused on helping disadvantaged and lower-income seniors by developing and supporting policies that provide greater access to care and coverage that is essential to improving overall health outcomes.
A total of 6.4 million people age 65 and over (15 percent of people 65 and over) are living in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Supplemental Poverty Measure. This number is expected to rise over the next several years as our population ages. These seniors struggle to find affordable housing, are forced to choose between food and medicine and have difficulty accessing high-quality healthcare and long-term services and supports. We must work to have models of care and policies that support improved access to healthcare and community-based services and work to ensure treatment is available by aligning corresponding provider reimbursement incentives.
2. We are independent, nonpartisan and senior-centered.
We are solely focused on doing what is right for seniors, their families and caregivers. We do not accept financial contributions and have no financial interest in the outcomes of the policies we support. We explore and support innovative healthcare delivery models and corresponding policies unconstrained by ideology, political affiliation, financial interest or predetermined outcome.
3. We use data and analytics to inform our policy and advocacy efforts on the national and state level.
We establish our policy strategies based on data and applied medical research—evaluating both current policies and practices as well as primary applied medical research conducted by the West Health Institute in collaboration with leading academic institutions and non-profit healthcare systems. Through the Gary and Mary West Foundation, we also provide outcomes-based grants to support research related to successful aging.
4. We engage with key stakeholders to align interests, resources and incentives to enable implementable policies for senior-specific, home-centered and community-based healthcare delivery models focused on improving patient outcomes, coordinating care, creating value and supporting successful aging initiatives.
Our policy activities and initiatives are built and informed by evidence-based research, collaborations with advocacy groups and the healthcare community, and real-life interactions with seniors and their families about what matters most to them. We are working to increase national adoption of home-centered and community-based healthcare models that have proven outcomes and cost savings in several communities throughout the country. These models are consistent with successful aging and the desire of most seniors to age in place for as long as possible.
5. We are committed to enabling a connected care coordination model that addresses the physical, mental and social factors which contribute to overall health and well-being of seniors.
We take a holistic approach in designing and implementing federal, state and local policies that affect seniors. Everyone in America has a stake in successful aging, but no one more important than seniors and their families themselves. Healthcare policies must recognize what matters most to them.