Patients with complex health needs such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease and other chronic health conditions require specializied medical attention. Care for such patients is typically uncoordinated, which often results in costly and frequent services. Recognizing this, Virginia Mason Medical Center developed an innovate primary care program for this population that has resulted in better health outcomes and increased satisfaction at a lower cost.
Virginia Mason developed an innovative primary care program for patients with complex health needs such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease and other chronic health conditions. The Intensive Primary Care program provides focused, coordinated care for patients, resulting in better health outcomes and increased satisfaction at a lower cost. Certain patients may choose to participate, receiving care from their primary care physician, nurse care manager, and supporting care team members who provide proactive outreach, continuity of care, and support to participants via e-mail, phone, and in-person visits.
Care for patients with chronic and complex conditions is typically uncoordinated, which often results in costly and frequent services. This program provides a highly individualized and accessible form of enhanced primary care, based on treatment goals specific to each patient.
The program had its origins in a pilot, initiated by The Boeing Company, that Virginia Mason and Regence BlueShield participated in from 2007 to 2009. The pilot achieved positive results in patients’ health, functional status, and satisfaction with care. It also helped reduce health costs by more than 20 percent, primarily by decreasing hospital admissions and emergency room visits. The pilot focused on 750 Boeing employees who suffered from complex health issues, such as hypertension, diabetes, heart problems and depression.
Virginia Mason and Regence BlueShield recognize the need for health care reform, and believe that many of the answers lie in partnerships such as this. By working together, this helath care provider and insurer are demonstrating that positive change is possible — that the quality of the health care experience for patients can be improved by providing the appropriate treatments at the right time at the right cost.
The program is based on research and design work conducted by national health care improvement specialists and draws from similar new primary care models advocated by the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Practitioners.
Keywords: care teams, complex health needs, chronic care management, Intensive Primary Care program, Boeing, Regence BlueShield, hospital readmissions, increased patient satisfaction, treatment goals, value, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Washington
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Director, Communications and Public Relations
Virginia Mason Medical Center
100 Ninth Ave, MS GB-ADM
Seattle, WA 98101