A new grant, co-led by Dr. Richard W. Besdine, will promote adoption of a care model in which geriatricians and other physicians co-manage care for older patients with hip fractures.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Dr. Richard W. Besdine of Brown University’s Alpert Medical School will co-lead a three-year national project to improve care for older patients with hip fractures, while lowering treatment costs. The American Geriatrics Society program is funded by a $1.4 million grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation.

The program builds on a model Besdine helped to pioneer in which geriatrics-trained hospital physicians are paired with orthopaedic surgeons to manage the care of seniors hospitalized for hip fracture.

Hip fractures hospitalize more than 260,000 older adults each year and could hospitalize 500,000 older adults each year by 2040, according to the AGS announcement. The total costs of the diagnosis were more than $18 billion in 2012.

“Geriatrics-Orthopedics co-management of vulnerable elderly hip fracture patients saves lives, reduces complications and reduces costs of care,” said Besdine, the David S. Greer Professor of Geriatric Medicine and a professor of health services, policy and practice. “Working with colleagues at the American Geriatrics Society and the University of Rochester, we will establish a sustainable enterprise for wide adoption of this co-management program. We expect that its success will allow replication for many vulnerable hospitalized older adults with many other clinical conditions.”

According to the AGS, Besdine and colleagues, including Dr. Lynn McNicoll, clinical associate professor of medicine at Brown, will work with early-adopter clinical providers to:

  • create and test training, evaluation and implementation tools for the co-management program;
  • assist participating hospitals with measuring success and sharing lessons learned; and
  • provide ongoing consultation, networking opportunities, and additional co-management resources as the program is expanded to a network of hospitals and health systems around the country.