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IN Compass Health's Hospitalist Team at Morton Plant Wins First BayCare Quality Award

Program Targets Indigent Diabetes Patients to Reduce Hospital Readmission

Atlanta, Georgia (PRWEB) October 28, 2009 -- The IN Compass Health Hospitalist team, led by Jordan Messler, MD, has been awarded its first BayCare Quality Award for the team's project "Indigent Diabetic Patient Follow-Up Care Program" at the BayCare Morton Plant Hospital.

The "Indigent Diabetic Patient Follow-Up Care Program" offers indigent diabetic patients who qualify, one year of free primary healthcare provided by funding through the Morton Plant Mease Foundation. Participants are referred to the program by their hospital physician (hospitalist) while they are receiving care at Morton Plant Hospital. Care of indigent patients with serious underlying health conditions such as diabetes creates clinical challenges for nearly all healthcare providers. In addition to these clinical challenges, the economic situation of indigent patients makes it difficult, if not impossible, for them to seek appropriate care and medications.

The program was created by Jordan Messler, MD, the IN Compass Health medical director of the Morton Plant hospitalist program, in collaboration with Morton Plant's multi-disciplinary program team. Hospitalists are generally defined as physicians who dedicate their fulltime practice to the inpatient or hospital setting, rather than dividing their time between outpatient practices and conducting hospital rounds. IN Compass Health Hospitalists provide clinical care in a model where care is provided to patients regardless of their ability to pay, including indigent patients.

The driving goal of the Program is to enhance the clinical outcomes for indigent diabetic patients who are admitted, cared for, and discharged by the IN Compass Hospitalist team. Beyond the focused care during their hospital stay, the patients are encouraged to seek appropriate care upon discharge from the hospital. Through a special arrangement with the Turley Clinic, the IN Compass Hospitalists encourage these patients to receive a follow-up outpatient visit for clinical evaluation, diabetic education and medications, at low or no cost to the patient.

The BayCare Quality Award, recognizing programs among the BayCare System's ten hospitals (more than 2700 beds) responsible for improved patient care quality, coordination, and outcomes, was awarded to Dr.Messler's Indigent Diabetic Program and his team ultimately for meeting all the stringent requirements of the program. Initial results based on the first 43 patients discharged by his IN Compass hospitalist team have shown:

  • 93% of patients have had at least one follow-up outpatient visit
  • 34% reduction in 30 day readmission rates
  • 3% reduction in A1c at 3 months

"Our staff identified a segment of our patients with diabetes who had no financial means to manage the disease once they were released from the hospital. Diabetes is a condition that can be treated, but if it's not, the likelihood is very high diabetic patients will return to the hospital with even greater medical issues," said Messler. "We are very encouraged by the initial results of this project, and look to maintain, if not improve upon, these statistics as we continue to serve Morton Plant indigent diabetic patients."

Denise Remus, PhD, RN and Chief Quality Officer at BayCare Health System had this to say about the project. "The award acknowledges the Hospitalist Group's amazing commitment to improving quality of care, care coordination, and outcomes for these patients. We are hopeful the work can serve as a model for similar programs."

About IN Compass Health

IN Compass Health (ICH) is a leader in providing inpatient hospitalist services. Our physicians manage the care of hospitalized patients in coordination with primary care physicians, specialists and other healthcare providers and work with the hospital to improve quality, satisfaction and outcomes. The Company provides care to over 1,000 patients each day in over 30 programs throughout the US. For more information, visit our website at

About Morton Plant Hospital

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility. As part of the BayCare Health System, Morton Plant is the only hospital in the United States to have been awarded Top 100 Hospital designations by the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success for all 10 years. Morton Plant also has received the Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for Primary Stroke Care from the Joint Commission. The hospital has partnered with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa to provide research and services for cancer patients. In 2008, the hospital was awarded Magnet Designation for the second time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the most prestigious national recognition of excellence in nursing care. For more information please visit Morton Plant Hospital's website at


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