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Senate Republican Budget Would End Health Initiatives That Save Lives and Money
Date:5/21/2009

patient-centered medical home model so that health care will be improved for all patients in those practices.

The initiative has been called the most progressive in the nation and the Obama administration has been in discussions with Pennsylvania and is considering including a similar program in its national health care reform plan.

"In 2007 alone, hospitals in Pennsylvania charged more than $4 billion for avoidable hospital admissions for individuals with chronic diseases, which would not have been needed if those patients had received needed care from their primary care provider," Torregrossa said. "Pennsylvania ranked 41st in a national study for the number of hospitalizations that could be avoided with outpatient treatment of chronic disease. Just think of the amount of money taxpayers and consumers will save and the lives that will improve -- or even be saved -- once this initiative is completely in place."

More than 600 doctors and nurse practitioners serving more than 900,000 people in southeastern, south-central, southwest and northeast Pennsylvania are in various stages of implementing the chronic care initiative. Elimination of GOHCR funding will end the learning collaboratives and practice coaches that are helping primary care practitioners transform how they treat patients with chronic disease and from providing a patient-centered medical home. Later this year, 250 more practices serving an additional 600,000 patients in northeast and north-central Pennsylvania will be added, and the southeast initiative will be expanded.

The $2 million included in the Governor's proposed budget for this initiative has leveraged more than $28 million from 16 health insurers who have agreed to provide incentives to practices that re-organize care and meet quality benchmarks. However, if the chronic care initiative ends, the money from the insurers will also end because GOHCR was coordinating the project,
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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