Murer CEO and President Lyndean Brick Explains Her Firm’s Dedication to developing Comprehensive Geriatric Service Lines for Modern Healthcare Facilities: A Personal Reflection
Murer Consultants specializes in developing geriatric service lines to enhance the coordination of geriatric care. Every healthcare provider needs to integrate and align their geriatric services with their business model to more fully realize the operational potential of Medicare and maximize revenue and services. Yet far too few providers actually accomplish this goal.
The issue isn’t abstract for me. I lived it with my father. So before I say a little more about renovating your geriatric service lines, please allow me to tell my story, as it makes clear why this issue is of such great importance to me and my firm.
My father died of bladder cancer in 2015 at the age of 85. But complications with his health began long before his death. At 60 he had quadruple bypass open heart surgery. He was a diabetic. He suffered from high blood pressure. He had diminished kidney function. At one point he was taking 30 different medicines. He had an endocrinologist, a radiologic oncologist, a surgeon, a cardiologist, a family doctor, a nephrologist, a nutritionist and a few others who would regularly appear with orders for tests and new or changed prescriptions.
Managing his medicines, alone, became a near full-time job. None of us were really sure what he was taking or why or how one pill might interact with the dozens of other pills he swallowed every day. But keeping his medicines straight was just one of the many challenges he and the rest of our family faced in the decade or longer before his death. He wound up in the same position where far too many Americans find themselves: overwhelmed by a health system that doesn’t always cater efficiently to the needs of geriatric patients.
We understood the importance of coordinating his care and making sure that the various physicians treating him communicated with one another.But that communication was always fragmented, disjointed, at best. For example, one day he had separate appointments with his cardiologist and nephrologist. The cardiologist reduced his fluid intake. Hours later, his nephrologist increased his fluid intake. Whose advice was he to follow? He asked the nephrologist, who responded that someone else would have to make that decision.
In the absence of a medical professional making that decision, my father did what any other red-blooded American would do: he made the decision himself. He decided to reduce his fluid intake one day and increase it the next. And he settled similar issues the same way while continuing to shuffle off to radiology treatments, physical therapy sessions, lab tests and doctor appointments.
Like too many others, I fear, my father’s case had many such complications yet, seemingly as a matter of course, treatment arrived via many different venues of care and a variety of providers.
Indeed, the circumstances which underlay my father’s medical situation remain all too common in American healthcare: the coordination of care modalities remains insufficient. For the most part, the healthcare systems he relied upon were not prepared to coordinate his care with his many physicians and pharmaceuticals.
All the while, I kept wondering why there wasn’t a single place that specializes in geriatric diagnostics and treatment. Think about it: a one-stop shop with comprehensive overview and integrated and aligned services would do a better job of meeting geriatric medical needs. The Murer position on this issue comes from first-hand experience as well as years of thought and practice.
I get it. Our industry fails to cater to geriatric medicine in general while seemingly fawning over seniors. And our failure is understandable. Maximizing Medicare reimbursement is difficult. Coordinating care with facility efficiencies is difficult. Making certain that services and practices align is difficult.
But none of it is impossible.
At Murer Consultants, I am proud to work with a highly skilled team of professionals who accomplish these goals everyday. Murer is expert at developing and implementing successful strategies that help providers translate geriatric care into financial success and enhanced community service.
I hope my story and the story of Murer Consultants is of interest to you and the patients, institutions and community you serve. If my story sounds familiar, then perhaps by working together we can write a new and better ending of enduring benefit to us all.
Please see more about our work with geriatric service lines here.