SASH Press Release – April 2016
Study: Vermont Housing and Health Care Model Shown to Improve Senior Health and Cut Growth in Medicare Spending
Ellen Tyrell, SASH Participant
Charlie Smith, President, Cathedral Square BOD
South Burlington, VT—RTI International and LeadingAge Center for Applied Research recently released the results of their Second Annual SASH (Support And Services at Home) Evaluation. The SASH model; created in South Burlington, VT, by Cathedral Square, residents of Heineberg Senior Housing and partner community agencies; connects low-income Vermont seniors and adults with disabilities with community-based services and promotes coordination of health care. The evaluations of SASH gauge the model’s efficacy in facilitating healthy and economically viable “aging in place”. The federally commissioned study lays the groundwork for national expansion of the model.
The report concludes SASH participants demonstrated statistically significant lower growth in expenditure across categories including total Medicare expenditures, emergency room visits, hospital outpatient department visits, and primary care/specialist physician visits. Against a comparison group, SASH participants in the most experienced panels show growth in Medicare expenses was lower by an estimated $1,536 per beneficiary per year.
Senator Bernie Sanders, a long-time SASH supporter, released the following statement: “I believe that all seniors deserve to age with respect, dignity and have access to the social and medical supports to stay healthy and at home. SASH is a leading model to help seniors achieve that goal.
“We’re pleased by the Evaluation results. It’s rewarding to see our beliefs confirmed by hard data,” said Kim Fitzgerald, Cathedral Square CEO. “But the real measure of what we do is feedback (SASH participants) give us. They make it clear we’re making a difference in their lives through better health and the freedom of independent living.”
Amy Kandilov, lead investigator for RTI International added, “The aging baby boom generation presents social, economic, and health challenges. We’re encouraged by these findings that SASH offers a cost-effective way to address the impact of an aging population.”
RTI International and its subcontractor, LeadingAge, were engaged by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Administration for Community Living to evaluate the SASH model through a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. In this second year of evaluation RTI conducted site visits in four geographic area of Vermont, interviewing staff from core partner organizations including: area agencies on aging, visiting nurse associations, mental health agencies, and the Blueprint for Health’s Community Health Teams. The evaluation team also conducted quarterly calls with SASH staff to collect ongoing feedback on implementation of the program.
Cathedral Square administers the SASH (Support And Services at Home) model statewide as part of Vermont’s Blueprint for Health. SASH is a care management model harnessing the combined strength of social service agencies, community health providers and non-profit housing organizations to support approximately 5,000 Vermonters in aging safely and healthfully at home. www.sashvt.org
About Cathedral Square
Cathedral Square is a non-profit organization created in 1977. The organization develops and operates communities for seniors and individuals with special needs. Cathedral Square’s mission to support “healthy homes, caring communities and positive aging” begins with providing service-enriched housing to over 1,154 residents. Cathedral Square owns and/or manages 30 housing communities, each uniquely designed to provide safe and secure apartments at an affordable price. www.cathedralsquare.org
About RTI International
RTI International is one of the world’s leading research institutes, dedicated to improving the human condition by turning knowledge into practice. Our staff of more than 3,700 provides research and technical services to governments and businesses in more than 75 countries in the areas of health and pharmaceuticals, education and training, surveys and statistics, advanced technology, international development, economic and social policy, energy and the environment, and laboratory testing and chemical analysis.
To read the full report, visit U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
If you need general information about SASH or would like to arrange an interview, please contact our Communications office:
Chris Falk, Director of Communications, 802-859-8880