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Priority Health Launches Michigan’s First Statewide Home-Based Primary Care Program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Priority Health is launching a ground-breaking program, Home-Based

Primary Care, statewide to deliver health care services to the homes of

patients living with advanced chronic illness.

The number of patients who are struggling with multiple chronic

illnesses, like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, is growing. The

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2010 that nearly

50 percent of seniors are living with two or more chronic diseases. This

is up from 20 percent in 2003. In addition, the Centers for Medicare and

Medicaid Services reports that 71 percent of each Medicare dollar is

spent on patients with both chronic conditions and physical limitations.

“Advanced chronically ill patients struggle with access in today’s

health care delivery system, which requires them to travel to a

physician or facility to receive routine medical services,” said Jay

LaBine, M.D., medical director for Priority Health. “With Home-Based

Primary Care, we’ve leveraged our expertise to take the concept of a

doctor’s office and broaden its reach to literally meet patients who

need support most, where they need it most — in their home.”

Home-Based Primary Care provides each patient with a primary care team

that features a physician, nurse practitioner, registered nurse case

manager and social worker. Through the program, patients receive

important routine and preventive care and direct access to care.

Priority Health is rapidly scaling the model to work with hospitals and

local health care providers throughout Michigan. In fact, the company

has already begun expanding the program’s capabilities in major

metropolitan areas across Michigan and is currently enrolling members.

Priority Health launched the program last year as a pilot with Spectrum

Health Medical Group for 90 patients. Since the launch, these patients

have seen significant improvements in their health. Emergency room and

hospital inpatient visits have decreased by 47 percent. Both

organizations credit being able to quickly launch the pilot as a benefit

of being part of the Spectrum Health integrated health system.

“We are committed to improving the quality of health care for Michigan

residents,” said Kenneth J. Fawcett, Jr., M.D., interim president,

Spectrum Health Medical Group. “By working as a system, we can

successfully leverage efficiencies and change the model of care for

those with complex chronic conditions, ultimately improving their

quality of life.”

To be eligible for Home-Based Primary Care, patients must be referred by

their primary care physician and qualify for the program. Once approved,

each patient receives:

  • A complete health assessment

  • Around-the-clock medical support

  • A patient-specific plan of care that evolves as needs change

  • A nurse care manager to monitor patient care

  • Occupational, physical, respiratory and speech therapy

  • Education about medications, telemonitoring procedures and health

    emergency preparedness

“We’re convinced that by investing early in the health of these patients

we’ll avoid costly services later on,” added LaBine. “And this theory is

already playing out to be true as we see patients, enrolled in this

program, having fewer visits to the hospital and emergency room.”

About Priority Health

Priority Health is an award-winning, Michigan-based nonprofit health

plan nationally recognized for improving the health and lives of the

people it serves. It continues to lead the industry in engaging members

in their health, delivering effective health and disease management

programs, and working with physicians to improve health care outcomes

and performance. Priority Health is one of only 20 health plans

nationwide with wellness programs accredited by the National Committee

for Quality Assurance, an organization that also rated our plans among

the best health plans in the nation. Priority Health was also named the

benchmark plan, by the State of Michigan, for all individual and group

plans to model.

Priority Health offers a broad portfolio of health benefit options for

employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans.

Its network of health care providers features 95 percent of practicing

physicians available in Michigan and more than 900,000 nationwide. For

more information, visit priorityhealth.com.

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