2016 Press Releases

AGS Sets Sights on Better Care, More Responsive Policies for “Unbefriended” Older Adults

Experts call for “national effort” supporting older adults who are already or might soon be “unbefriended”—a term for those who lack designated decision-makers and are no longer able to make medical decisions on their own.

New York (Nov. 22, 2016)—Experts at the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today unveiled new guidance on care and decision-making for a unique and growing group of older adults: the “unbefriended.” Proposed clinical practice and public policy changes would support some of society’s most vulnerable individuals while also helping protect more of us from becoming unbefriended as we age.

The “unbefriended” lack the capacity to provide informed consent to medical treatment, often due to declines in physical and/or mental well-being. But these individuals face added challenges because they have no written outline of their care preferences and also have no identified “surrogate,” such as a family member or friend, to assist in medical decision-making when needed. Baby boomers are at particular risk for becoming unbefriended, since more than 10 million boomers live alone and as many as 20 percent have no children.

Medicare to Cover Key Services Championed by AGS to Improve Care for Chronically Ill

New York (Nov. 4, 2016)—This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Final 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule showing their continued support for reimbursing services provided to Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions.  

As a result of ongoing advocacy from the AGS and our fellow stakeholders, these proposals, which will take effect in 2017, recognize much of the cognitive work that geriatrics healthcare professionals, primary care providers, and other cognitive specialists currently and regularly provide—until now without reimbursement. 

Starting Jan. 1, 2017, CMS will recognize the following services for Medicare beneficiaries:

AGS Continues Conference Series Exploring Cutting-Edge Geriatrics Thanks to Prestigious NIA/NIH “U13” Program

More than $173,000 from the nation’s penultimate research body will support a series of scientific conferences pushing eldercare expertise to meet the needs of America’s growing older adult population.

New York (June 17, 2016)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) will continue a series of prestigious scientific conferences on emerging issues in geriatrics thanks to sustained funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Conference Cooperative Agreement (or “U13”) Program. More than $173,000 in funding over five years will enable the AGS to continue coordinating U13 “bench-to-bedside” conferences on new topics pertinent to older adults. This recently funded series will focus on developing and prioritizing an actionable agenda related to multimorbidity by focusing each of three conferences on a common and clinically important pair of co-existing chronic conditions: sensory impairment and cognitive decline, osteoporosis and soft tissue (muscle/fat) disorders, and cancer and cardiovascular disease. Since 2004 the AGS has worked with the NIA through the NIH U13 Program to explore and clarify insights on the cutting-edge of geriatrics, having addressed sleep and circadian rhythms (2015) and delirium (2014) in recent years.

AGS Commends CMS Proposed Medicare Payment Policies to Improve Care for the Chronically Ill

New York (July 12, 2016)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) commends the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for continuing to support improved payment for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions as part of the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule. As a result of ongoing advocacy from the AGS and other specialties, CMS has proposed making payment for a number of services provided to chronically ill older adults—changes which dramatically improve current payment for chronic care management and management of people transitioning from hospital care to the home.

These proposals, which will take effect in 2017 if finalized, recognize much of the cognitive work that geriatrics healthcare professionals, primary care providers, and other cognitive specialists currently and regularly provide—until now without reimbursement—to those with chronic and acute illnesses. We thank CMS for recognizing the value and importance of this care and believe that it will dramatically improve the ability of many providers to keep older adults out of the hospital and emergency room.  

New Award from AGS Celebrates Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Honor of Thomas & Catherine Yoshikawa

Named in honor of two pillars of geriatrics who advanced clinical leadership and health scholarship for more than two decades, this new distinction from the AGS will support emerging clinician-investigators beginning in 2017

  • New Thomas & Catherine Yoshikawa Award from @AmerGeriatrics celebrates legacy of scientific achievement in #geriatrics

Long Beach, Calif. (May 19, 2016)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and its Health in Aging Foundation today announced their newest honor for recognizing excellence in geriatrics research: the Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Clinical Investigation. Named in honor of Dr. Thomas T. Yoshikawa and his wife, Catherine—who together served the AGS and the geriatrics community for more than two decades—the Yoshikawa Award will offer recognition and financial support to emerging eldercare scholars who represent the early promise of the Yoshikawas’ own illustrious career.

“AGS leaders are delighted to be celebrating Tom and Cathy Yoshikawa with this named award,” said Nancy E. Lundebjerg, MPA, CEO of the AGS. “The award criteria reflect their commitment to fostering clinical research and to mentoring investigators at all stages of their careers.”