San Francisco Health Plan's Outreach Program Achieves Significant Results in Diabetes Care

Nov 30, 2010, 14:29 ET from San Francisco Health Plan

"Strength in Numbers" Program Generates Noteworthy Strides in Medical Homes' Quality of Care

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 30, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- San Francisco Health Plan (SFHP), the city's community health plan, announced today that clinics participating in the chronic care program, "Strength in Numbers," saw significant improvements in diabetes care.

SFHP developed Strength in Numbers in partnership with Healthy San Francisco, the universal health access program. The program supports population management, the practice of ensuring all patients with diabetes or other chronic conditions get the right care. "Half of the people with diabetes in this country do not get the preventive care they should receive," said Dr. Kelly Pfeifer, SFHP Medical Director.

Over the last twelve months, the program has supporting clinic registry programs through incentives, centralized purchasing of health education tools and technical assistance. The results showed participating clinics had significant improvements in cholesterol and sugar testing and control of blood sugar.

The program also provided nurses and medical assistants intensive training on health coaching, enabling them to support diabetics in to making healthy choices. "No one wants to be told what to do," said Megan Petrich, SFHP Health Educator. "Health coaching identifies what is important to the patient so they are more motivated to take charge of their lives."

Chronic care registries prevent avoidable complications by helping clinics reach out to patients before they get sick. "The program strengthened the partnership between SFHP and safety net clinics," said Tammy Fisher, Director of Quality and Performance Improvement. "We weren't trying to build a new program, but rather empower clinics to leverage their disease registries to include more patients and more conditions. We had enthusiastic buy-in from the start."

Building off of the program's success, in 2011, Strength in Numbers will provide expanded training and technical assistance and support improvements in other core primary care issues, such as quitting smoking and timely access to care. The program will continue to be supported by SFHP and Healthy San Francisco.

Our reputation of being a leading edge health plan is in no small part due to the commitment and unmatched skills of the providers in our network. Working together with our providers enables us to remain a plan that our members can trust." said John F. Grgurina, Jr., CEO of San Francisco Health Plan.

About San Francisco Health Plan

San Francisco Health Plan, a licensed community health plan providing affordable health coverage to over 60,000 low and moderate-income families residing in San Francisco. SFHP  was designed for and by the residents it serves – many of whom would not be able to otherwise obtain health care for themselves or their families. Through SFHP, members have access to a full spectrum of medical services including preventive care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, family planning, and substance abuse programs. SFHP's mission is to provide superior, affordable health care emphasizing prevention and promoting healthy living with the goal of improving the quality of life for the people of San Francisco. For more information on SFHP, visit

SOURCE San Francisco Health Plan