Enhancing the Use of Clinical Preventive Services Among Older Adults (CPS): Closing the Gap
In March 2011, CDC, in partnership with HHS’ Administration for Community LivingExternal, Agency for Healthcare Research and QualityExternal, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid ServicesExternal released “Enhancing Use of Clinical Preventive Services Among Older Adults: Closing the Gap.” The report underscores fundamental gaps by magnifying state and national self-reported data for adults aged 65 and older who are not receiving the recommended services, and highlights the need to link community and clinical strategies that focus on the underserved.
At the core of this report are eight indicators for monitoring the use of clinical preventive services among adults 65 and older: two vaccinations that protect against influenza and pneumococcal disease; five screenings for early detection of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, diabetes, lipid disorders, and osteoporosis; and one counseling service for smoking cessation. This provides a baseline of data through which to monitor progress in ensuring recommended services reach this key population. Additionally, the report highlights seven other recommended services for older adults: alcohol misuse screening and counseling; aspirin use; blood pressure screening; cervical cancer screening; depression screening, obesity screening and counseling; and zoster vaccination.
The challenges underlying the disparities in the use of clinical preventive services are complex and reach beyond the traditional heath care arena of patient-provider interactions. Combining forces of the public health infrastructure, aging services network, community-based organizations, and linking to health systems affords a real opportunity to make a difference. This report offers examples of recent activities and interventions that have focused on increasing the use of clinical preventive services in diverse communities. Among the highlighted efforts are community actions designed to build awareness, create environments that offer convenient access to services, and adopt public policies to increase access and uptake of services.