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Lahey Health Partnering with Minuteman Senior Services to Provide Access to Healthcare Information for Seniors

Lahey Health’s Community Needs Assessment found seniors are having trouble accessing and understanding their health care options

March 25, 2015

BURLINGTON, MA (March 25, 2015) – In 2013 Lahey Hospital & Medical Center conducted a Community Needs Assessment in its service area, and found a consistent weakness: Massachusetts seniors have serious trouble accessing health care. Seniors struggle getting prescription medicine at an affordable price, traveling to appointments and understanding beneficiary coverage and other entitlements.

To address this issue, Lahey Health has partnered with Minuteman Senior Services , an organization with a mission to help older and disabled adults age with independence. The partnership will bring Lahey Health together with Minuteman Senior Services’ SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) program. SHINE provides free health insurance information, counseling and assistance to Massachusetts residents with Medicare and their caregivers.

“Many elder adults go without proper health care, routine care, and prescription drugs not only due to the high cost of these services, but also because they simply don’t know how to navigate the beneficiary enrollment process,” said Gerald MacKillop, Director of Community Relations at Lahey Health.  “If seniors are unable to get the care and medication they need it can have a severe impact on their health.  Through this partnership, we can assist seniors as they manage this confusing process, and help them receive the care they need.”

Through this partnership, every week a trained SHINE liaison will be available at the Burlington, Arlington and Winchester Councils on Aging to assist Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers to navigate their health insurance options.  Counselors are also available to review current coverage options, compare costs and benefits of possibilities available, and assist those with limited resources to enroll in helpful programs.  The SHINE program is open to everyone on Medicare and not limited to Lahey Health patients.

“We’re proud to partner with Lahey Health to serve the members of our communities,” said Joan Butler, Executive Director of Minuteman Senior Services. “The SHINE liaison is a tremendous resource for these residents to realize their full health care benefits. This will ultimately increase the number of seniors getting the most out of what Medicare and Medicaid have to offer, and maximizing their healthcare coverage.”

About Lahey Health
Lahey Health is what's next in healthcare, providing a full continuum of integrated health services close to where you live or work. It is comprised of nationally recognized, award-winning hospitals—including an academic hospital and medical center, and community hospitals—primary care providers, specialist physicians, behavioral health services, post-acute programs such as home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, and senior care resources located throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.

Lahey Health offers nearly 1,000 locally based physicians providing clinical excellence and an exceptional patient experience in adult and pediatric primary care and every medical specialty, including kidney and liver transplantation; neurosurgery, cancer, cardiovascular and orthopedic medical and surgical care; local emergency and trauma care; urological surgery; chronic disease prevention and health management; and pediatric emergency, newborn and inpatient care provided in collaboration with Boston Children's Hospital physicians. 

Lahey Health includes Lahey Hospital & Medical Center—a teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine—and Lahey Clinic physician group with practices in Burlington, Peabody and other locations throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire; Beverly Hospital; Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, Mass.; Winchester Hospital; Lahey Health Senior Care and Lahey Health Behavioral Services as well as more than 30 primary care physician practices and multiple outpatient and satellite specialty care facilities. 

Together, we are making innovative, integrated healthcare more personal and more accessible. For more information, visit LaheyHealth.org and its member websites Lahey Hospital & Medical CenterBeverly Hospital, Winchester Hospital, and Lahey Health Behavioral Services

About Minuteman Senior Services
Minuteman Senior Services is a non-profit organization that has been serving seniors and their caregivers for over 40 years in 16 communities north and west of Boston. Their mission is to help seniors and people with disabilities live in the setting of their choice by engaging community resources and supporting caregivers. The agency offers over 20 programs and services designed to support this mission, including free information and referral to local and long distance resources, access to services that help people manage the practical, day to day activities of daily living such as personal care and other in home services, care management, meals on wheels, transportation, health benefits counseling, bill paying assistance and caregiver support. Minuteman Senior Services is also designated by the state to investigate reports of elder abuse, neglect and self neglect. For more information, please call toll-free 888-222-6171 or visit www.minutemansenior.org

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LAHEY HEALTH CONTACT:
Chelsea Amaral
Solomon McCown
cameral@solomonmccown.com

MINUTEMAN SENIOR SERVICES CONTACT:
Patti Dubielak
p.dubielak@minutemansenior.org