I am writing this editorial from our Rockville, Md., office where I am working this week as we put the finishing touches on our Care Coordination Summit
that will take place on September 14, 2012. If you are in the area and can attend the Summit, I encourage you to do so.
There is definitely a trace of fall in the air as it is less humid and the temperatures are dropping at night into the 50s and even low 40s. As the seasons change, it is a good time to think about the important role each of you play in addressing the challenges that exist in today’s healthcare system and the how you and your organization are preparing to meet those demands. One of the core roles of case managers across the continuum is finding ways to work with members of the care coordination team to identify those at risk and educate and empower these patients to find ways to improve their health and/or better manage their chronic medical conditions. Doing so allows for improved patient and provider satisfaction while tackling the challenge of how to slow escalating healthcare spending.
To drive the urgency home, I recently read an article that showed Americans who have common chronic health conditions cost the U.S. economy more than $1 trillion a year, a figure that could jump to nearly $6 trillion by 2050 unless people take steps to improve their health. According to the study from the Milkin Institute, the economic impact of chronic illness goes far beyond the expense of treating disease. It takes an even greater toll on economic productivity in the form of extra sick days, reduced performance by ill workers and other losses not directly related to medical care.
To stem this tide, teams need to learn new ways to improve prevention and better engage consumers to manage their chronic conditions. As payers, providers, clinics and academic institutions are learning, coordination of care is best performed by multidisciplinary teams in primary care and public health sectors. That is why efforts are underway to help primary care practices and other members of the team shift their focus from solely in-patient care to models that better manage populations proactively. The model that is able to meet this need most effectively is the patient-centered medical home. Because this is so important, policy makers and payers are actively working to re-structure payment models that will reward practices for the work they and their teams are doing to improve health and decrease the cost of chronic medical and behavioral health conditions.
To learn more about how payers, physicians and academic centers are assisting with the transformation to the patient-centered medical home, join us on September 27 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. for a live webinar titled Chronic Disease: 8 Change Concepts: How the Medical Home Enhances the Treatment of Patients with Chronic Disease
. In this 90-minute learning activity, you will hear from three separate organizations who are doing innovative work in this area and who will share their insights so all can learn about this emerging model of care that is improving the delivery of care and lowering costs by improving health and healthcare for those with chronic medical conditions.
Last but not least, as today is the 11th Anniversary of September 11th, take a minute and remember all who are serving in our armed forces to keep us safe as well as those who died or were injured in the attacks that shook our country to its core.
Thanks and have a good week!