Just how big is 1 percent? Well, when it comes to caring for our state’s aging population, a 1 percent change in services or outcomes is bigger than most of us realize. And that’s what Public Sector Consultants (PSC) helped the AARP of Michigan figure out in their latest report, Disrupting Disparities: The Continuum of Care for Michiganders 50 and Older.

The report uncovers what inequities seniors face in terms of chronic disease rates, the availability of home- and community-based services and access to broadband Internet and telehealth services, as well as how these imbalances differ based on race/ethnicity, geography and income. But when the AARP wanted to understand their study on a deeper level — particularly what these disparities meant for Michigan — they engaged PSC.

For this work, PSC offered a signature ability to bring data to life and a deep well of knowledge in related projects — such as our work evaluating targeted programs for seniors for the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. Ultimately, PSC helped the AARP frame their study by estimating tangible, achievable projections that could yield real benefits — particularly what would happen if we made incremental changes of just a single percent.

Not only are the figures staggering, but the power of 1 percent has never been clearer.

4 out of 5

The number of older adults who suffer from at least one chronic health condition, many of which can be delayed or avoided with early intervention

1,280,000

The estimated number of family caregivers in Michigan

60

The number of additional home health aides the state could pay annually with savings captured by reducing the number of serious falls among seniors by 1 percent

$3.15 million

The amount of annual savings the state could capture by delaying 1 percent of Medicaid recipients’ transition from home-based care to a residential care facility

722

The number of additional people that Michigan could offer home- and community-based services to each year, through the savings captured by delaying 1 percent of Medicaid recipients’ transition from home-based care to a residential care facility

$32.5 million

The total amount we could decrease treatment costs by if Michigan could reduce the prevalence of diabetes among seniors by 1 percent

31.8 percent

The percentage of older adults who are interested in using telehealth options, according to an AARP survey

368,000

The number of rural Michigan households who do not have access to broadband Internet — putting telehealth options out of reach

$5,262 and $2,314

The cost of travel expenses and lost wages (respectively) that rural Michigan residents lose each year due to the lack of telehealth options

98 million

The projected number of people 65 and older in the United States by 2060 — a figure more than double what it is today

For more information about this work, please contact Scott Dzurka at sdzurka@publicsectorconsultants.com or Patrick Lyons at plyons@publicsectorconsultants.com.

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