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Geriatrics

Cooley Dickinson Medical Group Geriatrics provides office-based consultation services for older adults at risk for or with complex chronic and age-related conditions. Consultation is done in the context of each individual’s functional and psychosocial situation, taking into account their goals of care and wishes for the future.

What is a Geriatric Consultation?

A geriatric consultation is a comprehensive examination by a physician specializing in Geriatric Medicine of a new or existing problem being experienced by someone 65 or older.

Indications for referrals:

  • Memory Problems
  • Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias
  • Falls/Difficulties with Walking
  • Medication evaluation/polypharmacy (managing multiple medications)
  • Multiple hospitalizations in the past year
  • Increasing physical, cognitive or social frailty
  • Insomnia
  • Incontinence
  • Unexpected Weight Loss
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Change in Mood or Behavior
  • Difficulties with Personal Care/Managing at Home

Other indications:

  • Helping prioritize goals of care
  • Helping maintain and enhance well-being as one grows older

 


Rebecca Starr, MD, AGSF
Rebecca Starr, MD, AGSF

The Geriatrics department at Cooley Dickinson is led by Rebecca Starr, MD, AGSF. Dr. Starr serves as Medical Director, and oversees departmental integration with community services & providers.

Rebecca has held multiple positions in clinical, academic and administrative leadership, including two years as Medical Director of Medicare Advantage at Health New England in Springfield; Medical Director of the ACE (Acute Care for Elders) protocol pilot at Baystate Medical Center; and Medical Director of PACE (Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly) for Elder Service Plan in Cambridge, Mass. She is the recipient of several awards, grants, scholarships and fellowships from SUNY-Downstate; Harvard Medical School; The Samuels Foundation/American Federation for Aging Research; Tufts University Medical School; Baystate Medical Center; and the American Geriatrics Society. She has also pioneered clinical innovations and quality improvement projects including efforts in fall prevention for low-income, at risk elders.

Dr. Starr believes that every individual deserves and can achieve a sense of purpose and well-being, regardless of age or functional limitations.

 

Geriatric Consultation

What is the goal of the consultation?

The goal of the consultation is to provide an independent, in-depth assessment of a specific condition or general concern; review current care plans; provide advice about evaluation and management of the condition or concern; and, if appropriate, obtain additional tests for further evaluation.

Who can make an appointment?

Any patient aged 65 and over or a family caregiver can make an appointment or can be referred by a physician or a community agency. Each patient must have a primary care provider available to follow up on consultation suggestions.

Is a Geriatric Consultation covered under Medicare Part B and other insurance plans?

If you have standard Medicare, it will usually cover your evaluation at the same level that insurance covers your office visits.

If you are insured by any kind of managed medicare plan you will need a referral from your primary care physician. Please check your specific policy before arranging for this appointment as you will be responsible for any uncovered portion of this service.

What can I expect at the consultation?

The 60 minute evaluation consists of a complete medical and social history, an examination, discussion about the findings and development of a plan. Because of the complexity of some situations, patients may be asked to return for follow up visits to complete the consultation process.

Who can come to the appointment?

Family or other concerned individuals are invited to participate so that a complete picture of the patient’s current situation can be obtained. It is very helpful to have family or caregivers present who will be assisting in the implementation of the treatment plan.

What should be done to prepare for the appointment?

Because the consultant has a limited amount of time to spend with the patient and the patient’s situation may be very complicated, it is very important that the patient or family caregiver:

  • Arrange for medical records to be made available in advance for the physician to review
  • Send or bring copies of discharge summaries from any recent hospitalization, a summary of recent events from the primary care practice or other specialists, and documentation of any special testing that has been completed
  • Bring an up-to-date medication list or bring all the medication bottles for the physician to review during the visit
  • Complete the forms enclosed in the packet that was mailed to you describing the patient’s current status and concerns

HAVING THIS INFORMATION AVAILABLE FOR THE CONSULTATION WILL ALLOW THE DOCTOR TO FOCUS ON THE PATIENT AND FAMILY CONCERNS.

What kind of report will the geriatrician develop?

Depending on the nature of the problem, the consultant will provide a report that includes the patient’s history, physical examination and recommendations. This report will be sent to the patient’s primary care provider, who will work with the consultant to implement the recommendations. The consultant will be available to the patient’s provider to help with patient care around the issues of concern. The patient’s primary care provider will continue to be responsible for long-term care of the patient.

Cooley Dickinson Medical Group Geriatrics (Atwood Drive/Northampton Location)

CONTACT 413-585-0755

OFFICE HOURS Mon., Tue., Fri. 8:30 AM - 12 PM

Location & Directions 22 Atwood Drive
Northampton, MA 01060

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Cooley Dickinson Medical Group Geriatrics (South Deerfield Location)

CONTACT 413-585-0755

OFFICE HOURS Wed. 9 AM - 12 PM; 1 PM - 5 PM

Location & Directions 29 Elm Street
South Deerfield, MA 01373
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Intake Form
Please print and fill out this intake form prior to your appointment:
Pre-visit Questionnaire (PDF)