Care of the elderly could be improved by implementing a healthcare strategy that sees older people in poor health monitored by a primary care team.
Consisting of a nurse and a doctor keeping a close check on the health of ill senior citizens, the guided care strategy is designed to keep down and improve medical provision.
The research, which was published in the American Journal of Managed Care, was carried out by a team at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Dr Chad Boult, principal investigator of the study and creator of the Guided Care model, commented: "Guided Care patients cost health insurers 11 per cent less than patients in the control group.
"If you apply that rate of savings to the 11 million eligible Medicare beneficiaries, programs like Guided Care could save Medicare more than $15 billion every year."
A study carried out last month (July 24th) found that one in six public health workers would not make it into work in the event of a pandemic flu emergency.