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AARP and Medical Advocates Promote Patient Safety

Safety advocates for young and old gathered April 21 to announce a new Affordable Care Act initiative to curb hospital acquired infections, dangerous falls, medication mistakes and costly readmissions.

See Also: Medical Errors Occur 10 Times More Than Previously Thought

Sr. State Director Morie Smile attended the event that attracted dozens of Coloradans in the medical and social professions. AARP received three favorable mentions. AARP and other organizations also laid the groundwork to explore more partnership opportunities in the near future.

In addition to AARP Colorado, the event included the Children's Hospital and Medicare. From the podium, AARP was included in three speakers' addresses, including comments from the Colorado CMS lead Dr. Mark Levin, by the Children's Hospital CEO, and by Marguerite Salazar, Region 5 Health and Human Services director.

The event was covered by Michael Booth of The Denver Post. The story appeared in the April 22 Denver and the West section.

An increasing emphasis on patient safety in hospitals brought the coalition of Children’s Hospital, Medicare and AARP together. The group touted a new Affordable Care Act initiative designed to curb hospital mistakes, infections and readmissions.

“This is a true intergenerational issue,” said Smile. “We would be more than pleased to complement the advocacy efforts of the Children’s Hospital.”

AARP advocates on behalf of Americans 50-plus and their families. AARP Colorado hosts a number of intergenerational events and programs each year.

“At the older end of the patient scale, nearly one in five Medicare patients goes back to the hospital within 30 days of release, ‘and that's absolutely unacceptable,’” Levine, chief medical officer for the Denver regional Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, was quoted as saying in The Denver Post article.

The ACA initiative would expand “a readmission-prevention method perfected in Colorado that has already saved Medicare millions of dollars,” according to The Denver Post.