for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California and other locations
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Katherine L Possin, PhD



The Care Ecosystem is an accessible, remotely delivered team-based dementia care model, designed to add value for patients, providers and payers in complex organizational and reimbursement structures. Care is delivered via the phone and web by unlicensed Care Team Navigators, who are trained and supervised by a team of dementia specialists with nursing, social work, and pharmacy expertise. The evidence base to date suggests that the Care Ecosystem improves outcomes important to people with dementia, caregivers, and payers when delivered in a controlled research environment, including reduced emergency department visits, higher quality of life for patients, lower caregiver depression, and reduced potentially inappropriate medication use (Possin et al., 2019; Liu et al., 2022). The investigators propose a rapid pragmatic trial in 6 health systems currently offering the Care Ecosystem program in geographically and culturally diverse populations. The investigators will leverage technology, delivering care via the phone and web and using electronic health records to monitor quality improvements and evaluate outcomes while maximizing external validity. The investigators will evaluate the effectiveness of the Care Ecosystem on outcomes important to patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, and health systems during the pandemic. By evaluating the real-world effectiveness in diverse health systems that are already providing this model of care, this project will bridge the science-practice gap in dementia care during an unprecedented time of heightened strain on family caregivers, healthcare providers and health systems.


This study is a rapid, pragmatic, single-arm trial of 1,275 patients with dementia (PWD) and their caregivers (Total N = 2,550) at 6 US health systems currently offering the Care Ecosystem (CE) intervention to geographically and culturally diverse populations. The investigators will compare the effectiveness of 12-months of the CE intervention with a matched comparison group (N=1,275) identified from the EHR at each site. Patient health care utilization outcomes will be collected via patient insurance / Medicare claims and electronic health record data. Caregiver surveys completed via interview (phone, video or in-person) at baseline, 6-months and 12-months will serve the dual purpose of providing outcome data and supporting care.

This clinical trial is made up of four sub-studies on care quality, utilization, medications, and caregiver and patient experience. While all the sub-studies concern the same intervention group of dyads, each will use data from different sources, different analytic methods, and different controls. Care quality, utilization, and medication metrics will be compared to matched controls identified from the EHR. Caregiver and patient experience metrics will be compared pre/post and to controls from a prior Randomized Control Trial (RCT) ( NCT02213458). For these reasons, there are primary and secondary endpoints for each.


Dementia, Dementia, Vascular, Dementia With Lewy Bodies, Dementia Alzheimers, Frontotemporal Dementia, Alzheimer Disease, Primary Progressive Aphasia, Pick Disease of the Brain, Lewy Body Disease, Vascular Dementia, Care Ecosystem


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

, PWD participant

1. Age 18+ 2. Provision of verbal consent (or surrogate consent), documented in REDCap, and assent 3. Willingness to enroll in the Care Ecosystem program 4. Lives in the community (i.e., not in an assisted living, board & care, skilled nursing or memory care facility) at the time of enrollment 5. Have a dementia diagnosis documented in the EHR 6. Has had a visit with the referring provider in the last 12 months 7. Has a caregiver with a primary level of responsibility for the patient who is eligible and willing to participate Inclusion Criteria, Caregiver participant 1. Age 18+ 2. Provision of verbal consent, documented in REDCap 3. Has a primary level of responsibility for the care of a PWD-participant who is enrolling in the study 4. Willingness to enroll in the Care Ecosystem program and complete surveys

You CAN'T join if...

, PWD participant

1. PWD-participants for whom a substantial amount of the patient's healthcare utilization records cannot be accessed for research purposes by the study team. (see Note) 2. Is currently, or was ever enrolled, in the Care Ecosystem program. 3. Medical documentation indicates that the patient's dementia is a non-progressive type (e.g., due to a head injury or stroke, and not expected to progress). Note: This exclusion criteria will be operationalized differently at each site based on variations in data access options for their patient population; these options will include EHR and Medicare. A small percentage of participants may be enrolled from underrepresented populations for whom a substantial amount of utilization records cannot be accessed with written approval from the study PI. All participants must be affiliated with one of the 6 participating health systems: Ochsner Health System Providence Health & Services Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center HealthPartners Institute University of Colorado, Denver University of California, San Francisco


  • UCSF
    San Francisco California 94158 United States
  • LA County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
    Torrance California 90502 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSF


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
Study Type
Expecting 2550 study participants
Last Updated