According to the National Council on Aging, nearly 1 in 10 Americans have suffered some form of elder (age 60+) abuse which includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; caretaker and medical neglect; financial exploitation; and self-neglect. As you know, the health care setting, including appointments with primary care providers, offers a crucial opportunity to screen for elder abuse.
In support of this significant responsibility, Point32Health case managers screen all members of Tufts Health Plan Senior Care Options (SCO), our dual Medicare and Medicaid product, for elder abuse. If one of your patients screens positive, you will be informed with the expectation that a confidential discussion between you and your patient will follow. Tufts SCO case managers are available to support physicians with this sensitive issue and can assist with securing referrals to the appropriate social service and/or adult protective services programs.
In addition, Point32Health case managers serving members of our Medicare Advantage products — Harvard Pilgrim Medicare Advantage StrideSM and Tufts Medicare Preferred — are trained to recognize the signs of abuse and neglect, and as mandated reporters, follow state guidelines for relaying concerns.
Providers caring for patients believed to be victims of abuse or neglect should follow their state’s procedure for mandated reporting.
Despite its prevalence, it is estimated that only 1 in 24 cases of abuse are reported. We appreciate your dedication to this vulnerable population and hope that through our continued collaboration, we can encourage patients and families affected by elder abuse to feel safe reporting their concerns.
Director, Provider Relations & Communications
Senior Manager, Provider Communications
Joseph O’Riordan, Susan Panos, Ryan Francis, Stephen Wong,