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Thirteen Leading Organizations Meet to Address Senior Healthcare Issues

Posted on 11/15/2006 by NTOCC ® in Press Releases

Little Rock, AR ΜΆ Representatives from 13 leading U.S. organizations and companies met as a newly formed coalition to address: the barriers and gaps that occur when patients, especially older adults, leave one healthcare setting and move to another. This is becoming an increasingly serious U.S. healthcare issue.

The National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC) is being lead by the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) and is sponsored by sanofi aventis U.S. LLC.

Transitions in care settings include patients moving from primary care to specialty physicians; or within the hospital it would include patients moving from the emergency department to various departments such as surgery, intensive care, or when patients are discharged from the hospital to home, assisted living arrangement or skilled nursing facilities.

The NTOCC participants agreed that transitions of care is a major issue in the United States and can only be solved by breaking down the silos and barriers between different health care settings and working collaboratively for the good of the patient. An initial full-day meeting brought together experts representing associations, and multiple organizations from the health care industry including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, hospital administrators, social workers, assisted living professionals, pharmaceutical, industry, regulators, and accrediting organizations. Critical input was also provided by non-health care organizations representing older adult citizens and employers.

Each attendee outlined the significance of transitions of care issues from their perspective and described the barriers that prevent effective collaboration. The comments provided a unique opportunity to share viewpoints that highlighted inadequacies of the fragmented health care system today in meeting the needs of elderly patients. Time constraints, lack of communication, redundant procedures and poor transition processes from one care setting to another leads to confusion, inefficiency and possibly life-threatening situations for patients.

"We feel it is essential to address the serious health issues facing older patients. Without adequate assistance, many elderly persons do not get the care they need when they transition from one level or location of care to another. Social workers and case managers can help patients navigate through the health care system and assure seamless transitions and high quality care. Being part of the National Transitions of Care Coalition will help us address these concerns collaboratively with other health care professionals," stated Elizabeth Clark, Executive Director, National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

The NTOCC participants agreed that the only effective way to solve this critical problem is to have health care industry professionals, consumer groups, employers, payers, government, regulators and accrediting organizations work together. This initial meeting of the coalition concluded with the formation of three working groups:

  • One group will focus on "Awareness and Education" to increase general knowledge of the problems associated with transitions of care and provide the necessary information to various critical stakeholders – patients, caregivers, health care professionals and government officials
  • Another group will focus on "Health Policy Issues" to discuss ways to improve care including the possibility of enhanced reimbursement for transitional care support and technical medical information sharing between care settings
  • A third group committed to building practical tools and resources that can be used by health care professionals, caregivers, and patients to improve communication between care settings and reduce the risks associated with care transitions.

The NTOCC will provide the framework for each group to produce actionable information and tools to be implemented in solving transition of care issues. The NTOCC work groups and their efforts will be ongoing over the coming year to improve care for seniors.

"Transitions of care experienced by the elderly in long term care result in medication-related problems and significant morbidity. Consultant pharmacists are in a unique position to participate in multidisciplinary initiatives and solutions to these problems. I look forward to representing consultant pharmacists, as a member of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, in the development of tools and educational initiatives to improve these transitions for our frail elderly" said Ed Davidson, with the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists.

The initial meeting of the National Transitions of Care Coalition was held on October 18, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. Participating groups included the American Society on Aging, American Geriatrics Society, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Research and Education Foundation, American College of Healthcare Executives, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, Institute of Healthcare Improvement, Case Management Society of America, Joint Commission International Center for Patient Safety, Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care, Mid-America Coalition on Health Care, National Association of Social Workers, sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC, Society of Hospital Medicine, and URAC.


About National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC)
NTOCC was formed in 2006 to address a serious U.S. health care issue: filling the gaps that occur when patients leave one care setting and move to another care setting.  These transitions include patients moving from primary care to specialty physicians; moving or transferring patients from the emergency department to intensive care or surgery; or when patients are discharged from the hospital to home, assisted living arrangements, or skilled nursing facilities.  The U.S. healthcare system often fails to meet the needs of elderly patient populations during these transitions because care is rushed and responsibility is fragmented with little communication across care settings and multiple providers.  These failures lead to undue burdens on patients and their families and negatively impact patient safety, quality of care and outcomes.  The focus of NTOCC is to bring together thought leaders and health care experts from various settings to address this critical issue, define solutions and develop tools to address the gaps impacting patient care.  Tools and resources developed by NTOCC will be made available to everyone in the health care industry including providers, payers, patients and consumers.  NTOCC is chaired and coordinated by the Case Management Society of America and sponsored by sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC. Visit

About sanofi-aventis
Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT : SAN) and in New York (NYSE : SNY). Visit or

About Case Management Society of America (CMSA)
Established in 1990, the Case Management Society of America is an international non-profit 501(c)(6) multi-disciplinary professional association dedicated to the support and advancement of the case management profession through educational forums, networking opportunities, legislative advocacy, and establishing standards to advance the profession. It is based in Little Rock, AR, and serves more than 20,000 members/subscribers and 70 affiliate and pending chapters. Since its inception, CMSA has been at the forefront of setting professional standards for the industry, which allows for the highest level of efficiency and integrity, as well as developing national and local leaders who are recognized for their practice and professional excellence. For more information on CMSA, call CMSA at (501) 225-2229 or go to