Tag Archive for: Caroline Pearson

Caroline Pearson Executive Director The Peterson Center on Healthcare

Caroline Pearson Named as Executive Director for Peterson Center on Healthcare

Exciting news for Nexus Fellow Caroline Pearson. She has been named as the new Executive Director for The Peterson Center on Healthcare.

“Caroline is a gifted leader who never hesitates to roll up her sleeves and do the hard work,” said Anne Tumlinson, CEO of ATI Advisory, and a Nexus Fellow. “It’s been a joy to work with her in various ways throughout her career, and especially as she’s tackled policy challenges in the senior care sector. I know she’ll continue to make significant contributions in this next chapter.”

“Caroline is the perfect choice to lead the Peterson Center,” said Nexus Fellow David Grabowski, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. “She has worked for over two decades to improve the US healthcare system by taking on challenging policy issues. She led our important research on the “forgotten middle” of older adults who are too wealthy for Medicaid but too poor to afford the current mix of senior housing options. I can’t wait to see what she does at the Peterson Center.”

Pearson, who started the new position in early January, is leading the Center’s portfolio of initiatives and grants, to help “transform U.S. healthcare into a high-performance system by finding innovative solutions that improve quality and lower costs,” according to an announcement from the Center. She brings deep policy expertise across a wide range of critical areas, including Medicare, Medicaid, private health insurance, prescription drugs, the Affordable Care Act, and aging issues.

“I am deeply honored to join the remarkable team at the Peterson Center on Healthcare to advance its mission to improve healthcare through lower costs and higher quality outcomes,” said Pearson.

Pearson previously was the Senior Vice President for Healthcare Strategy at NORC at the University of Chicago, a research organization that has broken new ground into the unmet needs of the “forgotten middle” when it comes to affording senior housing. Before NORC, she spent 14 years at Avalere Health as the Senior V.P. of Policy and Strategy, where she worked with Fortune 500 companies, patient groups and other healthcare stakeholders to solve complex business and policy challenges.

“I am so proud of the Health Care Strategy team we have built at NORC at the University of Chicago and the important research that they will continue on issues of policy, aging, and care delivery,” she said.
“We are very pleased to welcome Caroline, whose strategic vision and data-driven approach will bolster the Center’s work to lower costs and improve outcomes in U.S. healthcare,” said Michael A. Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. “Caroline’s comprehensive understanding of the complex healthcare delivery ecosystem and her track record of identifying, validating and scaling innovative solutions make her a perfect match for the Center’s mission.”

Read the full announcement at Peterson Center on Healthcare

 

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Portrait of smiling multi-generation family sitting

Caregiving Navigation Hubs: A Critical Resource for Older Adults and their Families

Coordinating caregiving for aging loved ones is a complicated and frustrating task for families. And the problem is growing.

According to a recent article in Next Avenue, “It generally starts with a crisis: Your parent shows signs of dementia…or is about to be discharged from a serious hospital stay…or requires help with daily activities of living. What do you do? Where do you turn? It’s the little-discussed part of long-term care that leaves many of the nation’s 22 million family caregivers for older loved ones bereft and befuddled.”

“We’re failing tens of thousands of older adults and their families,” said Bob Kramer, Founder and Fellow of Nexus Insights.

Nexus Insights is a think tank advancing the well-being of older adults through innovative models of housing, community and healthcare.

In early 2022, Nexus Insights brought together long-term care providers, caregiver advocates, tech-driven startups and policy experts in its first ‘Nexus Voices’ salon to discuss how to help older adults and their caregivers better navigate the complex and fragmented array of long-term care and aging services. The result was a report released in September 2022, “Where Am I, Where Do I Go: The Missing Entry Point to Long-Term Care Solutions for Older Adults and Their Caregivers.

This report was the subject of the Next Avenue article, written by Richard Eisenberg.

Eisenberg spoke to several of the report’s authors, including Anne Tumlinson, CEO of ATI Advisory and a Nexus Fellow. “The primary challenge that most of my peers and friends and family were experiencing was entering into that phase of their lives when they were suddenly thrust into family caregiving roles and feeling like there’s no place to go,” Tumlinson said. “In the best-case scenario they’re getting a hospital discharge planner handing them a long list of organizations who are like, ‘Good luck. Here you go.'”

Caroline Pearson, another report author concurred. Pearson, formerly the Senior VP of Health Care Strategy at NORC at the University of Chicago, and now the Executive Director for The Peterson Center on Healthcare, and a Nexus Fellow. “Unfortunately, most people find themselves in these urgent scenarios that are sort of a call for help unexpectedly,” she said.

In fact, Nexus recently partnered with NORC to conduct a survey on this issue. The survey showed that 1 in 4 older adults needed long-term care services for themselves or a loved one in just the previous 12 months. It also echoed the report’s assertion that caregivers experience frustration and anxiety during the process.

The Nexus Voices report offers a powerful solution, according to the article, “A national, independent, trusted hub system of caregiving navigators who would be accessible to everyone and serve as a central doorway to long-term care services and supports.”

“For every single family to be creating a long-term care service delivery system is very inefficient from a societal standpoint and an economy standpoint,” said Tumlinson.

The solution would have to be national in scope. “There was broad-based agreement [among the salon participants] that creating the kind of awareness to make these hubs as visible as your local drugstore or post office was going to take a national effort, and a level of funding that was probably going to have to be federally driven,” said Kramer.

According to the article, a local example of such a hub was launched earlier this year in Ohio. The NaviGuide program, created by United Church Homes in Ohio, offers these types of services to its 166 clients. The program was inspired by a family crisis for its creator Terry Spitznagel, senior executive vice president and chief growth officer for United Church Homes. Spitnagel said, “I’ve been in senior services for three decades, but I just fell apart trying to help my father navigate the aging journey. I couldn’t manage it.”

The article sees the NaviGuide program as a positive step in the right direction. “If programs like United Church Homes’ NaviGuide are proven financially viable or federal or state governments earmark money for caregiving navigators, you may start seeing these experts pop up around the country.”

In fact, other recent reports echo the Nexus recommendations.

“There are real opportunities to move forward on this,” said Kramer. “But it’s going to take keeping the issue in the limelight and building momentum and seizing opportunities.”

And, the article suggests, “It may also require more people finding themselves thrust into becoming family caregivers or needing to coordinate care.”

Said Tumlinson: “You have to go through it and then be stunned. Then you say, ‘Why is this not being fixed? How is this possible?'”

Read the article at Next Avenue.

Read the Nexus Report
Read the Nexus Survey

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Frustrated woman with laptop

NORC Study Shows Most Older Adults Experience Anxiety and Frustration While Selecting Long-Term Care

Twenty-four percent of U.S. adults ages 50 and older say they, or a loved one needed long-term care in the past year, according to a new, national survey commissioned by Nexus Insights, a think tank focused on older adults. The research was conducted by the well-respected NORC at the University of Chicago. The findings illustrate the widespread need for information and guidance about long-term care services among an aging population and their caregivers, a need that experts say will grow exponentially in the future.

Nearly 1 in 4 older adults said they or a loved one needed long-term care in 2022

 

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Most older adults said the process of selecting long-term care caused anxiety (53%) and frustration (52%), while few said they felt confident (23%), at peace (23%), or happy (14%) while making a choice. Researchers say the survey findings suggest a need for more consumer-friendly resources to help families navigate care options.

Anxiety and frustration finding long-term care

 

“Making a decision about long-term care is a maze full of emotional twists and turns, dead ends, and setbacks,” said Robert Kramer, founder and fellow of Nexus Insights. “The lack of a consumer-friendly system to help families navigate the staggering array of decisions that must be made quickly during a healthcare crisis boosts families’ stress. It can result in making decisions that lead to poorly coordinated, lower-quality care.”

According to the survey, older adults said it was extremely important to have additional information about the cost of care and options to pay for it (69%) and the different types of long-term care services available (63%).

Nexus Insights released a report earlier this year detailing the often frustrating and confusing process facing many older adults when making decisions about long-term care for themselves or a loved one. It called for a national long-term care navigation hub to help older adults discover and assess options, educate them on available support and funding, select and connect with the option that is best for them, and continuously evaluate their needs as health and financial statuses change. Kramer said navigation resources are needed immediately to support the aging Baby Boomer population, many of whom not only serve as caregivers to older parents but will soon need long-term care themselves.

“Many families reckon with a long-term care system that’s nearly impossible to navigate and provides little-to-no support for families making life-and-death decisions,” said Caroline Pearson, senior vice president at NORC at the University of Chicago, who also serves as a Nexus Insights fellow. “Most people will eventually have to make decisions about long-term care for ourselves or a family member, so creating a consumer-friendly long-term care navigation system should be high up on the nation’s list of to-dos.”

People likely to turn to family for long-term care advice

 

The poll was conducted between November 11 and 14, 2022, during a monthly Omnibus survey. It included 1,014 interviews with a nationally representative sample of adults age 50 and older (margin of error +/- 4.34 percent points). The AARP and NORC’s Foresight 50+ probability-based panel is designed to be representative of U.S. adults age 50 and older.

DOWNLOAD THE SURVEY: One in Four U.S. Older Adults Needed Long-Term Care for Themselves or a Loved One in 2022

READ OUR REPORT: Where Am I, Where Do I Go: The Missing Entry Point to Long-Term Care Solutions for Older Adults and Their Caregivers

 

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Housing For Middle-Income Seniors

Middle-Income Seniors – The Forgotten Middle

When it comes to senior housing, wealthy seniors can pay their own way and low-income seniors often qualify for Medicaid. The real problem is for those in the middle. They aren’t wealthy enough for private pay, yet they are too well-off for Medicaid. To make matters worse, the number of people stuck in the middle will nearly double over the next decade. Senior housing operators and policymakers have the opportunity to serve this new market, but how and to what extent?

Nexus founder and Fellow Bob Kramer discusses “The Forgotten Middle” with Nexus Fellow Caroline Pearson, senior vice president health care strategy, NORC at the University of Chicago in an episode of Foresight TV hosted by Steve Moran of Senior Living Foresight.

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Foresight TV

Foresight TV with Bob Kramer and Caroline Pearson

Nexus founder and Fellow Bob Kramer sits down with Caroline Pearson, senior vice president at NORC at the University of Chicago, March 11. Follow Senior Living Foresight on LinkedIn and YouTube to watch live.

Data For Health Plans

Data gaps could amplify difficulties for health plans

In an interview with Health Payer Intelligence, Caroline Pearson, Nexus Fellow and Senior VP of Health Care Strategy at NORC at the University of Chicago, emphasized that the industry’s understanding of effective payment models and strategies for social determinants of health management is “riddled with unknowns.” Her remarks appear in an article: The State of Payer, CBO Social Determinants of Health Contracting.

It is natural, for example, for organizations like large healthcare providers and payers to turn to smaller community-based partners for on-the-ground insight and service delivery. However, according to Pearson, it can be problematic with smaller partners who lack the infrastructure to cover a large population, or are unable to provide the kind of data needed for decision-making. 

How can you know if a community-based organization is going to be a good partner for you? Pearson says one key indicator may be their ability to gather and exchange this data.

“The data requirements to deliver supplemental benefits to a health plan population are pretty high: you need some way to identify those members, you need to be able to receive the referrals from the health plan, and then, increasingly, those health plans really want a feedback loop where you can give them information about the result,” Pearson said.

But Pearson explains that even if an organization lacks this ability it’s still possible to work with them –if you can involve a vendor who provides a platform to bridge the gap.

Read more

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Improving the Availability of Long-Term Care

The Forgotten Middle: Improving the Availability of Long-Term Care

Don’t overlook the “forgotten middle” when creating policy, said Nexus Fellow Caroline Pearson, Senior Vice President at NORC at the University of Chicago. Pearson recently took part in an interesting and in-depth panel discussion on a report from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) that provides policy recommendations for increasing access to long-term services and supports (LTSS).

The forgotten middle are those seniors who are “unlikely to qualify for Medicaid, and unlikely to be able to afford many of the private seniors housing options they may need as their health, mobility and cognitive status decline,” Pearson explained. 

She cautioned that while “we have tried before and failed to do major, audacious, long-term care reforms” there is reason to hope for something more significant now. “The magnitude of the problem before us has paralyzed us for a long time. But it doesn’t have to be a purely public sector solution,” she said. “There are private resources available, if we were more creative and organized about how we helped people find those and how we delivered them to people.” She cautioned that reform may turn out to be an incremental process. 

Pearson addressed the issue of helping people remain in their homes longer, which many seniors prefer. “When you look at the cost of care as people age, housing is a huge component. If we can safely and effectively keep people in their homes, that really lowers the annual cost of care.” In fact, now is a good time for advances in this area. As she pointed out, “In a year in which I’ve had basically everything delivered to my house, and all services come to me, it’s a good time for this sort of innovation.”

When asked which policy for expanding or improving long-term care would top her priority list, Pearson gave a nod to an idea raised by her fellow Nexus Fellows, Anne Tumlinson and David Grabowski. “Funding and program coverage is important, but the landscape is confusing. For people trying to help themselves or their loved ones, it’s difficult to know where to begin,” Pearson said. “Funding a navigation service, a place to begin, to connect you to the private and public resources available to you, would be a huge step in the right direction.”

Pearson was joined on the panel by Leena Sharma, Project Manager and Senior Policy Analyst at Community Catalyst, Henry Claypool, Policy Director of the Community Living Policy Center at UCSF, and Hemi Tewarson, Executive Director of The National Academy for State Health Policy. The panel was hosted by Marilyn Serafani, Director of the Health Project at BPC.

Listen to the full discussion.

Read the BPC Report.

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LTC Bipartisan Policy Center

Improving the Availability of Long-Term Care – Bipartisan Policy Center

From Bipartisan Policy Center:

“A wide range of Americans rely on long-term services and supports (LTSS) for help with daily living. Nearly half of those with current LTSS needs are under age 65, and half of all Americans aged 65 today will need LTSS at some point in their life. In recent years, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s health team has worked to improve the availability of LTSS for low-income Americans and provide more affordable options for those who do not qualify for Medicaid.

“Please join BPC on Tuesday, September 14 for a virtual discussion of current proposals to expand the availability of Medicaid home and community-based services, and the release of our new report on making LTSS more affordable for those who do not qualify for Medicaid.”

Featured Participants

Introduction by:

Bill Hoagland
Senior Vice President, BPC

Opening remarks:

Katherine Hempstead
Senior Policy Advisor, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Gretchen Alkema
Vice President of Policy and Communications, The SCAN Foundation

Lisa Harootunian
Associate Director of the Health Project, BPC

Allison Rizer
Principal, ATI Advisory

Panel discussion with:

Henry Claypool
Policy Director, Community Living Policy Center, University of California San Francisco; Consultant, BPC

Hemi Tewarson
Executive Director, National Academy for State Health Policy

Caroline Pearson
Senior Vice President, NORC at the University of Chicago

Leena Sharma
Project Manager and Senior Policy Analyst, Community Catalyst

Moderated by:

Marilyn Serafini
Director of the Health Project, BPC

View more: https://bipartisanpolicy.org/event/improving-long-term-care/

Nexus Insights Fellows News 2021

Nexus Fellows Flash Bulletin: June 2021

The Nexus Fellows are leaders in the aging industry, helping to shape public policy and redefine aging and aging services. From books to podcasts, here’s a sample of some of the work they’ve been doing in the past month:

  • Jay Newton-Small, CEO of MemoryWell, is wrapping up a second year of their joint contest for Hilarity for Charity, Seth and Lauren Miller Rogen’s Alzheimer’s charity and Humans of Dementia Storytelling Competition. It’s a competition for high school and college students to write the best profile of someone living with Alzheimer’s. Winners will have the chance to meet Seth and Lauren Rogen during the virtual celebration. Additionally, MemoryWell has added three new members to their team.
  • Jacquelyn Kung, CEO of Senior Care Group at Activated Insights, was interviewed by Skip Lineberg, host of The Main Thing Podcast, about elder care, and her passion to improve the aging experience. “The main thing I’ve learned in my lifetime so far is that getting older is what you make of it. And I see it as full of good news. Socially, we get happier as we get older, and the research shows that.”
  • Jill Vitale-Aussem, president and CEO of Christian Living Communities, sat down with Senior Housing Investors Podcast to talk about her book, “Disrupting the Status Quo of Senior Living: A Mindshift.”
  • Sarah Thomas, CEO of Delight by Design, delivered the keynote on designing products and services for the aging population with Chief Medical Office of AARP, DR Charlotte Yeh. Additionally, she moderated two panels featuring the important work of seven agetech startups at the Rehab Tech Summit mini-Summit. Thomas was an expert judge at the AOTA 2021 Inventors Showcase, where 11 startups pitched their innovative products designed to serve people across the lifespan. The winner designed a novel gait belt that improves the safety of caregivers and residents in senior living and beyond.
  • Dr. Bill Thomas, founder of The Eden Alternative, The Green House Project, and Minka, recently traveled the country, talking with elders and their care partners in more than 125 cities. He learned about their hopes and fears, and listened to their stories. What did he discover? That people want better alternatives for senior living. “It turns out that older people pretty much want what everyone else wants: to belong to a community that includes people of all ages and remain connected to the living world,” Thomas said.
  • Nexus Founder & Fellow, and NIC Strategic Advisor, Bob Kramer, has joined the Edenbridge Health Board of Advisors to help expand access to comprehensive, integrated, community-based and person-centered care for the frail elderly through innovative applications of the PACE Program.
  • In the blog post, “Just Move It,” CEO of SmartLiving 360, Ryan Frederick talks about the importance of physical exercise for older adults. “Inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death and about 1.5 billion people in the world are inactive to the point that it risks their long-term health. At a health care conference several years ago, four recent surgeon generals were asked for one tip for successful aging. They coalesced on one word: move.”
  • Nexus Fellow Kelsey Mellard, CEO of Sitka, sat down with Sanjula Jain Jo on Her Story for a candid conversation about being a healthcare leader and her transition from the Midwest to DC to Silicon Valley, building a resilient team, and overcoming challenges.
  • Longevity economy expert, Jody Holtzman, formerly of AARP is proud to be on the advisory board of Intuition Robotics, which is mitigating loneliness among older adults with the companion robot ElliQ. “The growing mismatch between the number of people in need of caregivers and the availability of caregivers is a multifaceted challenge for individual families and society more broadly. Technology must be part of the solution. Companion robots like ElliQ and others in this space, like my friends at Joy for All/Ageless Innovation, have an important role to play.”
  • Caroline Pearson, Senior VP of Health Care Strategy at NORC at the University of Chicago, announced the release of new research from NIC and NORC that looks at the impact of the pandemic on seniors by care setting. “Mortality rates increase by complexity of care, but, in lower acuity settings such as independent living communities, they are comparable to surrounding populations.”

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Patient and physician trust in U.S. Health Care

Trust in the U.S. Health Care System: New Findings

Caroline Pearson, Senior VP of Health Care Strategy at NORC at the University of Chicago and a Nexus Insights Fellow, announced the release of new research from NORC that examines physician and patient trust in the U.S. health care system. The research was conducted as part of the ABIM Foundation Building Trust initiative. 

The study, which surveyed 2069 adults from the general public and 600 physicians, found that while 78% of patients report high levels of trust in their doctors, trust is lower among Black, Hispanic, lower-income, and younger patients.

Other key findings from the study:

  • Both physicians and patients trust clinicians more than they trust the healthcare system as a whole.
  • While most physicians trust community health services to support patients’ health and well-being, physicians report lower levels of trust in long-term care and home healthcare providers, who are essential during discharges and care transitions.
  • Physicians overestimate their patients’ ability to adhere to their treatment recommendations.
  • Although physicians understand the importance of building trust with patients, they do not always perform trust-building behaviors.
  • The majority of the public reported favorable or no change in how much they trust their doctor due to the pandemic, however roughly 30% of physicians experienced a decrease in their level of trust in the healthcare system and healthcare organization leadership during the pandemic. Rebuilding trust is needed. 

The nonpartisan and objective research organization NORC at the University of Chicago was founded in 1941 as the National Opinion Research Center.  It’s purpose is to help governments, nonprofits, and businesses make better decisions through data and analysis.

See the findings.

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