Nutrition and health for older persons in rural America: A managed care model

Gloria L. Klein, Kimberly Kita, Judith Fish, Barbara Sinkus, Gordon L. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Health care services and resources for older persons living in rural areas may be highly variable, and integrated service-delivery models are often lacking. This article presents a managed-care model of nutrition risk screening and intervention for older persons in rural areas. Nutrition risk screening was implemented by the Geisinger Health Care System, Danville, Pa, to target all eligible enrollees in a regional Medicare risk program. A single remote clinic site participating in the managed health care system was chosen for further study of a linked screening and case-management effort for undernourished persons. Screening and intervention at the clinic site selected for this study were guided by centralized expertise and resources. Individualized evaluation and intervention plans were developed with the aid of a dietitian and implemented by the clinic case manager. Of the 417 subjects who completed screening at the remote site. 68 met the risk criteria for undernutrition and were selected for case management. Many of the targeted persons received interventions that included evaluations by a physician or physician extender (eg, physician assistant, nurse practitioner) at the clinic and consultations with nutrition, mental health, or social services professionals. Twenty-six of the subjects who took part in the intervention completed a follow-up screening 6 months later. Ten of those persons no longer exhibited risk criteria. This demonstrates the feasibility of a linked screening and case management program for nutrition risk in the managed-care setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-888
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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