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AMDA invests in young adult LTC as numbers climb

October 6, 2014
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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One sector of the long-term care resident population is surging lately—and it’s not the “silver tsunami.” AMDA–The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA) has been awarded $1.6 million from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve the quality of care for younger people receiving long-term care.

The number of younger people with physical disabilities who are in need of long-term care has reached historic levels, said Rebecca L. Ferrini, MD, MPH, CMD, lead consultant and faculty of the AMDA training program. The age 31 to 64 demographic currently is the fastest-growing population, doubled in size since 1994.

“They are living longer than ever. We are also seeing a growing patient population with brain injuries and mental illness,” Ferrini said in a press release. “Facilities have to be ready, because these patients are coming.”

Younger adults have unique needs that often require specialized training among the interdisciplinary teams, along with support systems that need to remain in place for decades. AMDA will expand its programming for nurses, medical directors and surveyors to include training on the challenges younger residents face and help to develop new best practices.

“AMDA will be filling a major void in available education about an important population that is quickly increasing in size,” said AMDA Board of Directors President Leonard Gelman, MD, CMD, in an association statement. “The key to improving quality of life for a patient is properly trained, caring and dedicated healthcare providers. We are pleased to continue to work toward improving the quality of care for younger adults, and for the entire PA/LTC population.”

AMDA's grant comes from CMS’ civil money penalty funds, a fund created from the fines paid by healthcare facilities that are issued citations. Learn more about civil money fund in a related article: "Penalty paybacks: Funding projects for free."