WASHINGTON—AARP today announced that the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) and the Hennepin Healthcare System are the winners of the 2021 AARP Quality Measures Innovation Grant. Each winner will receive a grant of $150,000 to develop novel health quality measures to improve patient care and advance health equity among older adults. The winners will also have access to OptumLabs Data Warehouse (OLDW), which contains fully compliant, de-identified, longitudinal health information on enrollees, representing a diverse mixture of ages, ethnicities and geographies. The announcement was made today virtually at the Gerontological Society of America’s 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting.
“AARP has long fought to provide access to quality health care so that everyone has the opportunity to live longer, healthier lives regardless of race, income or age,” said Lina Walker, Vice President of Health Security for AARP Public Policy Institute. “The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted issues of health equity in the United States and around the world, inspiring us to focus this year’s grants on projects that can reduce disparities in our health care system through innovative measures.”
About this year’s award winners:
American Medical Group Association: “Colorectal Cancer Screening Follow-Up Measure”
Only about half of patients who receive a positive colorectal cancer (CRC) screening complete a colonoscopy within six months, with wide variation across health care organizations and racial and ethnic subpopulations. Since treatment cannot begin until after a colonoscopy confirms a CRC diagnosis, timely follow up is critical, particularly for black adults and other populations who experience both higher incidence and mortality rates from CRC and late-stage CRC diagnoses. The AMGA proposal will develop a CRC screening follow-up measure, documenting whether a positive screen resulted in a colonoscopy. This will elucidate how follow-up rates vary across patient demographics and health system characteristics, enabling targeted interventions that close this gap in care.
Hennepin Healthcare System: “Impaired Mobility as a Predictor of Health Care Access and Quality”
Disability and mobility limitations, which are barriers to health care access and quality of care, disproportionately affect low-income populations and communities of color. A proposal by Hennepin Healthcare System, a Minneapolis-based safety net hospital, will help identify mobility impairment among older adults and assess how mobility impairment is associated with traditional health disparity characteristics, such as race, socioeconomic status or living in a rural or urban location. It will also quantify the effects of mobility impairment on hospital and/or emergency room use, as well as the total costs such patients face annually. This data is vital to reduce health care disparities for those living with mobility impairments.
About the Quality Measures Innovation Grant Program:
Established in collaboration with OptumLabs in 2016 and awarded every two years, the Quality Measures Innovation Grant program supports projects designed to develop and/or test innovative health quality and performance measures that can improve patient care. The AARP grants aid efforts to improve the lives of all older Americans.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.
OptumLabs is the research and development arm of UnitedHealth Group. We’re creating the most equitable, effective, and affordable health care solutions for patients, payers, and providers. By applying big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to the latest in clinical and scientific advancements, our diverse team is building a future where the health care system works better for everyone. OptumLabs is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: NH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit OptumLabs at www.OptumLabs.com.