Advocating for Better Health

BetterHealth3.pngThe Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging is working toward better healthcare for Older Mainers. The “triple aim” approach of health care transformation is to improve health and health care, reduce avoidable costs, and improve patient experience. The Maine State Health Care Innovation Plan highlights “activated consumers and communities” as one of three major components of the state’s vision, because more than a third of all health care costs, or $1.2 trillion, is attributed to unnecessary tests and procedures that don’t increase health outcomes and may even cause patient harm.

This is why M4A is working with Maine’s Area Agencies on Aging through regional Health Care Advisory Committees to activate older healthcare consumers to be more engaged and informed in making health care choices. Specifically, we’re promoting Choosing Wisely as a decision making tool that can help patients know what questions to ask generally when faced with a recommended test, procedure or new prescription. We’re also involving these activated and informed consumers in community and statewide discussions on how we can change the culture that promotes the “passive patient” to one that encourages patients to be active partners in their own care. Good communication between patients and their primary care providers is the best way to improve patient health, increase quality of care and reduce healthcare costs.RWJ_Slide_on_Health_Outcomes__1__1.jpg

Maine’s Area Agencies on Aging are also developing programs in partnership with health care providers that address the socio-economic barriers to positive health outcomes. Specifically, we’ve developed a Community Health Worker Program and a Volunteer Health Advocate program to help community dwelling older adults to better manage their health care needs. We also host prevention programs that help people manage their chronic conditions, avoid falls and engage in healthy exercise. 

On this page, you’ll find information about Choosing Wisely and be connected with other tools, like the Better Health Better ME consumer tool. If you’re interested in becoming involved in one of our regional Health Care Advisory Councils, contact your local Area Agency on Aging or contact us