George Taler, MD, is Co-director of MedStar Washington Hospital Center's Medical House Call Program; Vice President for Medical Affairs of MedStar's Home Health Visiting Nurse Association; and Medical Director of Northwest Healthcare Center, a 343-bed nursing home in Washington, DC.
As Co-founder and Co-director of MedStar's award-winning Medical House Call Program, Dr. Taler is involved in the provision of primary health care to frail elders living independently in their own homes. The Medical House Call program, consisting of a team of 17 geriatricians, nurse practitioners, social workers, and allied staff, coordinates primary, specialty, urgent, and acute medical care to approximately 600 people. On the national level, Dr. Taler is a spokesperson and advocate for Medicare reform to support the expansion of home-based elder care and to enact legislation to create pilot programs that would allow hospitals to share in cost savings to the Medicare program.
In 2006, Dr. Taler was selected for a Special Achievement Award by the American Academy of Home Care Providers. His community leadership activities have included Past-President of the Maryland Gerontological Association, Founding President of the Maryland Geriatrics Society, and President of the American Academy of Home Care Physicians. He has been a member of the Board of the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel since 2002.
Dr. Taler's research has been published in Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, and other peer-reviewed journals. He is board-certified in Family and Geriatric Medicine.
Dr. Taler graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed an internship at the University of Maryland Medical Center. His residency in Family Medicine and fellowship in Geriatrics were completed at the Jewish Institute for Geriatric Care (now the Parker Geriatric Institute) in New Hyde Park, NY. He then joined the Family Medicine faculty at the University of Maryland, where he was an Associate Professor until he left in 1999 to join MedStar Washington Hospital Center as Director of Long-Term Care.
Dr. Taler's research interests include
- Geriatric medicine
- Home care
- Long-term care
- Family practice
- Pressure ulcers
- Chronic diseases
- Innovations in the delivery of care
Independence at home: community-based care for older adults with severe chronic illness
Many elderly people suffer from multiple chronic conditions and/or functional disability, leading to high per capita costs for their medical care. The current healthcare delivery system, paid for in part by Medicare, is centered around care provided in doctor's offices, hospitals, and nursing homes. Dr. Taler et al. published a model of coordinated home-based medical care, called Independence at Home (IAH), which operates in some U.S. communities and within the Veterans Affairs system. IAH teams deliver medical and social services to seriously ill elders in their homes, thus reducing costs. This article, published in Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, reviews the evidence that this approach can lower total costs and improve patient satisfaction and outcomes. A Medicare reform bill, called the Independence at Home Act, was introduced in the U.S. Congress in 2008 to promote replication of this elder-care model.
Pneumonia in the long-term resident
Dr. Taler and colleagues studied pneumonia in the long-term care setting, where this disease is common. Pneumonia is associated with morbidity and mortality in long-term residents; however, diagnosis and management of this condition is challenging. This article, published in Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, includes management recommendations.