Care coordination is essential for chronic patients. It can help keep patients with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and heart problems, out of the hospital. Several pilot projects, specifically medical homes, chronic care management and accountable care organizations, promoted by the federal Medicare program encourage care coordination. The Akron-based Summa Health System’s accountable care organization has nearly 30,000 patients and has saved the government $10 million or 4% of what it expected to spend on patients.
The government is interested in collaborative care models because it’s finding that it will spend less money on Medicare. Nevertheless, Harold Miller, president of the Center for Health Care Quality and Payment Reform, is doubtful that Medicare’s pilot projects will result in overall cost-savings on large patient populations. However, Miller does agree that care coordinator roles certainly helps to keep people healthy.
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