The Cumulus collaboration platform grew directly from a need in the spring of 2020 for community partners to rapidly coordinate their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like community-based organizations nationwide, Aging Ahead, an Area Agency on Aging in the greater St. Louis area, faced daunting challenges as local communities and businesses went into lockdown. The demand for some services like home delivered meals skyrocketed, while delivery models for in-home services changed overnight. Using the ad hoc tools available, Aging Ahead and its partners coordinated outreach and service delivery, providing reassurance and services to socially and physically isolated shared clients across a huge geographic area. Relying on email, phone calls, spreadsheets, disconnected data systems and old-fashioned ingenuity they made it work – thousands of seniors and people with disabilities were served during that crucial time.Read more about Missouri AAA uses Cumulus during COVID Health Emergency
As the collaboration hub for ACL Challenge Grant winner Missouri Aging Services Data Collaborative (MASDC), Cumulus is pushing the interoperability envelope on behalf of AAAs. To encourage data sharing with healthcare, state agencies and community partners Cumulus and MASDC developed a groundbreaking set of standards to help AAAs share data in a uniform way nationwide.
MASDC’s ground-breaking Aging Services Data Set and Interoperability Standard (ASDIS) — one of the first open data standards for social services — demonstrates that investment in social-care oriented interoperability efforts is essential to building an ecology of services that can encompass the social determinants of health (SDOH) alongside other critical measures of community health and wellbeing.
ASDIS is designed to complement FHIR, including eLTSS and Gravity, while also providing a foundation for data sharing within daily aging service provision (even if it never interacts with healthcare). ASDIS is also IT system-agnostic – which means that every AAA and aging services organization could arrange to exchange data with partners and payers regardless of which existing data system or vendor they use. ASDIS consists of more than 450 unique data elements (not counting assessment data) within 24 commonly understood categories, including service authorizations, activities/tasks, claims-related elements, disability services data elements, and ICD-10 code tracking.