September 26, 2017


Non-traditional, Integrated Model Points to a 52% Reduction in Hospital ER Visits, 38% Reduction in Inpatient Visits & More


(GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – September 26, 2017) – Keeping at-risk seniors in their homes and out of hospital emergency rooms has been a daunting and often expensive task.  In fact, individuals who are 55 and older with little or no social support and who need assistance managing their medically complex health issues, are among the heaviest users of health care services. 


That’s exactly why five local organizations (Clark Retirement, Sunset Manor, Porter Hills, Holland Home and Life EMS Ambulance) joined forces in 2014 to create Tandem365 – an entirely new model of integrated care designed to help older adults navigate the complexities of health care while enabling them to remain in their homes. 


Three years later, Tandem365 participants are reaping the benefits of the non-traditional model, pointing to impressive outcomes from Tandem365’s three-year relationship with Priority Health members.  Specifically, here are key findings of the Tandem365 integrated care model:

  • ER visits down 52%
  • Inpatient visits down 38%
  • Specialty visits down 46%
  • Average health care cost per member decreased by 35%


Tandem365 delivers medical, behavioral and social services not typically reimbursable, with a focus on patients who are isolated, in poverty, frail health and lacking transportation, explained Teresa Toland, CEO of Tandem365.  Many Tandem365 patients are seniors, although the organization’s approach is not exclusive to this population. 


“Tandem365 is shaking up the status quo for health care delivery by offering an entirely new approach to keeping our senior population at home as long as possible by improving their health and quality of life,” she said.


To do that, Tandem365 tackles all of the barriers that often get in the way, such as a person’s ability to buy groceries, create meals, travel to doctor appointments, take regular medication and more. Tandem365 offers a team of navigators, nurses, social workers, paramedics, therapists, aides, etc., to provide interdisciplinary wrap-around services and advanced-level case management tailored to each client’s needs – right in their own homes. 


Through a pilot program with Priority Health, Tandem365 has cared for approximately 1,000 patients, and reports a 38% decrease in inpatient stays, a 52% decrease in emergency department visits, a 35% decrease in total cost of care, and 46% fewer specialty care visits.


“We’re pleased to share a proven, new model of care not only for Grand Rapids, but communities beyond,” said Toland. 


“We are very encouraged with the results of Tandem365 and the quality of life it affords to the senior population,” said Greg Gadbois, M.D., medical director, Priority Health. 


Tandem365’s model with Priority Health has been cited in numerous publications, including AJMC.com, LeadingAge, Alliance of Community Health Plans and Managed Healthcare Executive.  Additionally, Toland recently presented at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness.


“We’re looking forward to building on our success, serving even more individuals,” said Toland.


infograph tandem