HARRISBURG, Pa., April 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- River Health Accountable Care Organization (RHACO) has begun working with Health Quality Partners (HQP) to implement an advanced preventive care program for central Pennsylvania Medicare beneficiaries with advanced chronic conditions. The advanced preventive care program will focus on patients with heart failure, coronary heart disease, diabetes and chronic lung disease.
The program seeks to eliminate unnecessary hospitalizations that arise from inadequate or inappropriate patient care, medication management and self-care routines, as well as poor communication among multiple providers. This program will help these beneficiaries improve their health and live more independently while reducing costs. The anticipated start date for the program is this spring.
RHACO nurse care managers will work directly with Medicare beneficiaries who have advanced chronic conditions and their primary care providers to provide ongoing assessment and monitoring, support for medication management, education, self-management coaching and close follow-up during transitions from hospital to home or skilled nursing facilities. RHACO nurses also promote physical activity, weight management, healthy eating, social engagement, home safety, and preventive care – all factors found to be beneficial for the health and wellbeing of the elderly.
"We are very excited about the opportunity to make a difference in the health of more than 33,000 Medicare beneficiaries in central Pennsylvania," said Jeanne O'Brien, vice-president, accountable care initiatives, RHACO. "Working with HQP on this advanced preventive care program takes our care to the next level. By working one-on-one with patients with chronic illness, we want to improve their quality of life, prevent hospitalizations and help them feel better."
HQP's advanced preventive care model has also been proven to reduce healthcare costs on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries with above-average health risks. Higher-risk enrollees in the advanced preventive care program experienced a 39 percent reduction in hospitalizations, 37 percent reduction in emergency department visits, reductions in skilled nursing facility and home health utilization, and a net 28 percent decrease in Medicare expenses.
"Partnering with River Health ACO is an extraordinary opportunity for HQP. Most ACOs are still tinkering at the margins of health service redesign, using weak interventions with little evidence of effectiveness. By contrast, RHACO has made a major commitment to do the hard work required to improve the value of health care by improving health outcomes. Undertaking large-scale replication of advanced preventive care with RHACO is a major milestone for HQP," said Ken Coburn, MD, MPH, CEO and medical director at HQP.
RHACO is currently recruiting qualified nurses with a strong interest in making a difference in the care provided to seniors in their communities. Nurses interested in learning more about this opportunity in Harrisburg, Selinsgrove, Sunbury, Lewisburg, Williamsport and Wellsboro are encouraged to apply online through PinnacleHealth System at http://bit.ly/19BgN4X or Susquehanna Health at www.susquehannahealth.org/careers.
About Health Quality Partners Health Quality Partners (HQP) is a non-profit health care quality research and development organization dedicated to improving population health outcomes through health system redesign and innovations in preventive care. HQP has developed an effective community-based model of advanced preventive care that improves health outcomes, longevity, and costs for chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries and that works in collaboration with primary care offices of all sizes and types. For more information, see www.hqp.org.
About River Health Accountable Care Organization The River Health Accountable Care Organization is a limited liability company formed to improve the cost, quality, access, and patient experience of care for Medicare beneficiaries in central Pennsylvania. The founding partners are PinnacleHealth System, a 501(c)(3) organization that operates an integrated health care delivery system in the greater Harrisburg, PA region and Susquehanna Health System, a 501(c)(3) organization that operates and integrated health care delivery system in the Williamsport, PA region. Other participating health care organizations included: Family Practice Center, Susquehanna Community Health and Dental Center, Hamilton Health Center, Laurel Health Centers, and several other independent physician practices. The ACO covers 14 counties and serves 33,000 traditional Medicare beneficiaries.