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New report: Community health plans improving care for patients with chronic illnesses
Date:11/30/2011

ients in its case management programs.

In this report, which notes the evolution from disease management to care management approaches that address the "whole person" including social, environmental or financial barriers to good health, ACHP focused on five key themes that could be adapted more broadly to replicate the positive results found in the care management work of community health plans:

1. Physician Partnerships. A plan-employed nurse working within a provider's practice whether a plan-affiliated or networked practice allows patients to view the nurse more as an extension of the physician, therefore improving the patient's experience of truly coordinated care.

2. Face-to-Face Encounters. Personal meetings with a care manager can be used to confirm a doctor's instructions, answer medication questions or learn how to use a medical device.

3. Multidisciplinary Teams. Involving social workers, geriatricians and others in a care management program can help patients and families access specialized services they need.

4. Appropriate Use of Technology. Technologies can increase communication with a patient or speed the delivery of health information to a care manager. This enables a more seamless support system for patients seeing a range of providers or accessing multiple services.

5. Community Mindedness. Familiarity with their local communities helps health plan nurses connect patients to community based organizations that can provide, for example, necessary nutrition, housing, financial, social and home health services.

ACHP released its care management report along with a companion Care Management Handbook for health plans looking for greater detail on integrating care management programs. The care management documents are part of a new ACHP series on delivery system reforms, Health Plan Innovations in Patient-Centered Care. The series looks to fill the existing gap in the literature when it comes to ide
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Contact: Anna Helms
ahelms@achp.org
202-785-2247
Alliance of Community Health Plans
Source:Eurekalert

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