What is Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment?

Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) is an evidence-based process developed by Dr. Marjory Warren in England in 1963. It is an interdisciplinary process taking inputs from a Care Team of multiple physicians and other allied health professionals, taking account of not just medical diagnoses but also functional impairments and the Social Determinants of Health.  A CGA consists of dozens of billable assessments, and  looks not only at disease states, or a disability, but at a range of domains such as comorbidities, nutrition, medications, cognition, anxiety, mobility, balance, housing, social networks, and poverty.

Why is it Important?

The CGA addresses the challenge of how to integrate and coordinate care given the complexity of treatment for this growing population in a manner that will maximize outcomes while minimizing costs, especially in light of the diminishing number of geriatric specialists. Assessments that are part of the American Geriatric Society’s Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment – the key to developing and implementing coordinated care plans that have been proven to maintain an older patient’s quality of health as long as possible and significantly reduce hospitalizations and readmissions – are now rarely administered. Most new Medicare patients are typically unaware of or administered the Initial Preventive Physical Exam (IPPE) and Annual Wellness Visit. Only 19% of eligible Medicare beneficiaries are currently receiving either.

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