October 19, 2009
Vol. II, No. 12
Innovative Medical Home for Seniors Removes Barriers to Preventive Care
A new study by The Robert Graham Center: Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care will examine WellMed Medical Management's best practices as a high-functioning medical home for seniors.
Last year, DMAA's Care Continuum Alliance awarded WellMed its Outstanding Quality Initiative Award for the radical process redesign of its disease management program, known as HealthRight, which serves seniors with high-risk, high-volume, high-cost and/or problem-prone disease states including congestive heart failure, ischemic heart disease, diabetes and COPD/asthma.
WellMed provides many patients with no-cost medical transportation and underwrites prescription co-pays for several chronic diseases as tools to remove barriers to quality preventive healthcare. These initiatives have dramatically improved kept appointment rates and filled prescription rates. Patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease experienced improved cholesterol levels and fewer hospitalizations. The physician-owned practice management company operates more than 30 medical clinics in Texas and Florida.
For more details on the study, please visit:
Combining home-based blood pressure monitoring and telephone counseling significantly improves a person's blood pressure control at a minimal cost, according to a study published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine by researchers at Duke University Medical Center.
During the two-year study, people trained to monitor their blood pressure at home while getting regular phone calls from a nurse lowered their blood pressure by 11 percent compared to a 7.6 percent decrease in blood pressure for the home monitoring group and 4.3 percent for people only getting calls.
The phone intervention entailed bi-monthly phone calls from a nurse who would also discuss medication side effects, nutritional recommendations, exercise tips and smoking cessation advice. The at-home blood pressure monitoring was conducted three times each week and the nurse was not provided with the results.
Fewer than 40 percent of people with hypertension in the United States have adequate blood pressure control, putting them at risk for heart attack and stroke. Duke researchers said the objective of this study was to identify a tailored and cost-effective intervention that could help prevent the development of more serious cardiovascular disease.
"We’ve shown that the ‘medical home’ model does not require a patient to come to the primary care setting — we can bring the care to them," said Hayden B. Bosworth, PhD, the study’s lead author and research professor at Duke, an early innovator of the "medical home" concept.
For more details on the Duke study, please visit:
Healthcare reform, a fragile economy, high numbers of uninsured, the lingering threat of H1N1 and emerging care delivery models are just a few factors that promise to drive changes in the healthcare industry in the coming year. To learn how other healthcare organizations are preparing for 2010, complete HIN's fifth annual survey on Healthcare Trends in 2010 by October 30 and receive a free executive summary of the compiled results.
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Healthcare Trends Update: 2009 Patient Education and Outreach Benchmarks
Healthcare organizations are learning that an investment in patient and member education programs is money well spent. What is the chief impact of patient education programs, who conducts education programs and how do organizations measure ROI from patient education efforts? Download this complimentary summary of the 2009 Patient Education and Outreach Benchmarks e-survey, which identifies emerging trends and metrics in patient education and outreach and their effect on health outcomes, medication adherence and healthcare cost and utilization through an analysis of responses from 134 healthcare organizations.
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