Bethlehem, PA (April 10, 2017)— St. Luke’s University Health Network and Lehigh Valley Active Life (formerly Lehigh County Senior Center) are joining forces in an effort to improve social engagement and lower health care costs for older adults living in Allentown.
Research has shown that seniors who are socially isolated tend to make more emergency department (ED) trips, in turn, incurring higher health care costs. With this new program, St. Luke’s University Health Network Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) in the Allentown area are encouraged to refer patients who meet the criteria directly to Lehigh Valley Active Life.
Who can participate?
• St. Luke’s patients age 60 and over
• Live alone in Allentown, preferably in the 18102 zip code
• Frequent ED visits ; or
• Hospital re-admissions within 30 days; or
• Bundled payment patients; or
• Non-compliant with PCP visits
Those patients who are identified and referred to the program are automatically enrolled in Lehigh Valley Active Life, receive transportation to the center, enjoy a hot lunch, meet other participants, participate in activities, and be assigned an outreach worker. This type of social engagement can go a long way to help reduce loneliness.
“We are identifying our at-risk older adults and taking care of them within the community where they live” Anne Grogan, St. Luke’s Director for Senior Care, said.
Patients will also have the opportunity to participate in various health screenings. Any screening found with abnormal results will be forward to the PCP for follow-up. Participation in this program can result in better compliance with PCP visits and reduce unnecessary visits to ED and multiple hospital re-admissions.
“As we move forward with this program, we have a real opportunity to identify health issues and treat them earlier,” Grogan added.
For more information on this program, contact Rick Daugherty, Lehigh Valley Active Life, 610-437-3700.
About St. Luke’s
Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a non-profit, regional, fully integrated and nationally recognized network providing services at seven hospitals and more than 270 outpatient sites. The network’s service area includes Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Schuylkill, Bucks, Montgomery, Berks and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania and Warren County in New Jersey. Dedicated to advancing health education, St. Luke’s operates the nation’s oldest School of Nursing and 22 graduate medical educational programs and is considered a major teaching hospital, the only one in the region. In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the region’s first Medical School. Repeatedly, including 2017, St. Luke’s has earned Truven’s 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation as well as 50 Top Cardiovascular program in addition to other honors for clinical excellence. St. Luke’s is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of St. Luke’s information technology applications such as electronic medical records, telehealth, online scheduling and pricing information. St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers in comparison to major teaching hospitals and other health systems.
About Lehigh Valley Active Life
Lehigh Valley Active Life is a senior community center at 1633 W. Elm St., Allentown, that welcomes people to join their neighbors who are already members. Together we will all live a better life and create a better community.