• Disappointed by House Action, AGS Urges Senate to Reject Amended American Health Care Act

    New legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act concerning for us all as we age.

    New York (May 4, 2017)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) remains opposed to the amended American Health Care Act (AHCA) that today passed the U.S. House of Representatives despite serious concerns from geriatrics experts and a host of other stakeholders across health care. This legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would harm access to key health services for older adults, caregivers, and healthcare professionals—which is why the AGS now urges the U.S. Senate to oppose the bill in its current form.

  • When it comes to older adults, language matters (and so do frames)...

    In geriatrics, we’re no strangers to the misperception that aging is a “personal fate” to avoid, not a challenge and opportunity we all share. So how can we as advocates navigate these public misperceptions while working to spark dialogue, shift perceptions, and build support for necessary changes in public policy and clinical care? We at the AGS are happy to report that a major new body of framing research is helping us take an important step forward. 

    For several years now, the AGS has partnered with seven other leading age-focused organizations (joined together under the Leaders of Aging Organizations, or LAO) to understand how experts, policy makers, and the general public think about (and act upon) aging. Through anthropological studies and social science research conducted with our partner, the FrameWorks Institute, the LAO has concluded that language (even down to specific word choices) has been a significant obstacle to conveying the advances we’ve made in health care and aging services. 

    A new LAO-FrameWorks Institute toolkit, Gaining Momentum, takes that research one step further by making it actionable for advocates like our AGS members. The toolkit is a collection of resources to help drive a more productive narrative about how to capture the benefits of an increase in the average lifespan. As a resource for our members, the toolkit can help you refocus discussions based on provocative insights and practical recommendations like the highlights below (uncovered through FrameWork’s research): 

    Aging needs to be redefined. Widespread negative assumptions about “getting old” led the public to take a fatalistic stance that there’s not much to be done about aging.
    A call for justice beats a plea for sympathy. A controlled experiment found that one of the most effective ways to build support for greater inclusion of older people is a reminder that a just society treats all members as equal participants.
    Names matter. An experiment that probed associations with current terms of reference—like elderly, senior citizen, and older adults—led to some surprising findings and the recommendation that the field shift to the term older people.
    A new metaphor dramatically shifts perceptions of aging. FrameWorks researchers found that by comparing the process of aging to building momentum, communicators open a new way to think and talk about aging—something counter to currently available cultural idioms such as “fighting” aging or the importance of “staying young.” An innovative test of how messaging can affect people’s implicit associations showed that this metaphor reduced ageist attitudes by a remarkable 30%. 
    The suite of LAO-FrameWorks tools is now available for free at It’s important to remember that this is not a typical “press kit.” You will notice that the materials are designed for use within our community, to help researchers and clinicians build framing concepts and skills. That is intentional. While you will not find “turnkey” phrases that will revolutionize how you position your work, you will find examples and guidelines that can help you—with practice and over time—continue to work more intentionally and strategically to advance the conversation about older people in the U.S. The examples noted below in the toolkit’s “quick start” guide offer some perfect examples. 

    Sharing and telling a common story is part of what it takes for a movement like this to drive major and meaningful change. Suffice it to say, sharing these resources is an important first step. Over the next several months, the AGS will be working with our LAO partners to help you better understand these tools and the recommendations they promote. If you’re attending #AGS17, be sure to mark your calendar for one of our first training sessions: “Changing Hearts and Minds—Reframing the Conversation About Aging and Elder Abuse” (Thurs., 5/18, from 2:45-4:15pm CT). More to come soon (including a webinar on LAO-FrameWorks research). Let us know what you think by joining the #ReframingAging conversation on Twitter and here on MyAGSOnline. We’re eager for your thoughts!

  • AHCA Pulled From House Floor: Justice in Aging

    House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump announced in separate press conferences that the Affordable Care Act would remain as the law of the land for the foreseeable future. This followed a tumultuous week of negotiations within the GOP in an effort to garner sufficient votes to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Shortly before a scheduled floor vote, Speaker Ryan pulled the bill from consideration and noted that Republicans did not have the votes to pass the bill.

    Our deepest thanks to the many AGS members who contacted their Representatives and Senators about the ways the AHCA would have harmed older Americans. This outcome would not have been possible without you and the countless others who stood together to preserve care for 24 million Americans.

    The coming weeks will bring new challenges as we continue to advocate on behalf of geriatrics health professionals and the older adults they serve. We will work in a bipartisan fashion on these issues and we know that we cannot accomplish this alone. If you haven’t already done so, please sign up in our Health in Aging Advocacy Center (using your home address) so we can be sure to include you in our advocacy alerts.

  • Policy Update: Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Cost Estimate for American Health Care Act (AHCA)

    Periodically, we will be using this space to bring you analysis of legislation and regulations of interest to the members of the American Geriatrics Society. Today’s analysis provides an overview of the #CBOScore (an estimate of costs and spending anticipated from proposed legislation) for the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The CBO estimate on Medicaid is of particular concern to us given that it is projecting that Medicaid spending would be reduced by 25% by 2026; so too is the elimination of the Community First Choice option, which would decrease funds for home- and community-based services (more on both below). AGS staff are working to alert key members and committees of both Houses to our concerns. This includes sharing with their offices the statement we issued last week outlining those elements of AHCA that would be harmful to older adults.

  • Tell us what you think of MACRA and QPP!

    We will be holding a workshop at #AGS17 in conjunction with CMS on the Medicare Access And Chip Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and the Quality Payment Program (QPP). In advance of the meeting, we'd like to assess what you know about these programs and what you think of them. Please answer this brief survey and let us know what you think.

    If you haven't registered yet for #AGS17, register today!

  • AGS Statement on Discrimination

    Dear AGS Members:
    On behalf of the AGS leadership, I wanted to let you know that we will be releasing the statement below today. We are proud of the diversity of our members and of the work that you do in serving older people around the world. The AGS believes in a future when every older adult will receive high-quality, person-centered care. That future—like our specialty and our Society—is boundless, borderless, and built to embrace us all as we age.

    Kind regards,
    Ellen Flaherty, PhD, APRN, AGSF
    AGS President

    Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA
    AGS Chief Executive Officer

  • Join Us for the Health in Aging Policy Fellows Program Webinar

    The AGS is hosting a webinar highlighting the Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program. The webinar will serve as an informational session to learn more about the Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program, its mission, and the opportunities it offers to actively shape health policies at the national, state, and local level that will benefit older adults. You will be able to hear first-hand from the leadership of the program as well as current and former fellows about this unique opportunity.The Fellowship is open to professionals in all disciplines and at all career stages. The 1-hour webinar will take place on Friday, February 3rd at 12:00 pm (noon) eastern time.

  • Three New Webinar Recordings

    AGS just published three new webinars on GeriatricsCareOnline. Coding Changes for 2017: Focus on New Codes for Geriatrics offers important updates regarding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s Physician Fee Schedule rule for 2017, including several significant coding and payment changes of importance to geriatrics healthcare professionals. How to Navigate MACRA for Geriatrics Health Professionals provides participants with expertise and guidance around how to navigate the Quality Payment Program authorized under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and how to successfully participate in the first year of the program. Meanwhile, Older Adult Driving Safety: Assessment and Counseling is a webinar based on the Clinician’s Guide to Assessing and Counseling Older Drivers (created as part of a cooperative agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)). It walks participants through case examples of the screening, evaluation, and intervention strategies for assessing and counseling older adult drivers. Each webinar also allows participants to earn 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CME credit.