BEST PRACTICES: URAC Profiles 93 Care Models
The American Accreditation HealthCare Commission/URAC has released Models of Care: Case Studies in Healthcare Innovation, which includes 93 case studies of effective care management and "lessons learned" in treating diabetes, cardiovascular disease and associated risk factors, maternity care, and disease prevention and screening. In one example, the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of northern California managed to reduce LDL cholesterol levels for a group of Cholesterol Management Program patients by 13% within six months, 22% at 12 months, 28% at 24 months and 31% at 36 months -- all with labor costs 25% lower than the costs of usual care. Athena Healthcare Communications President Dr. Caren Heller, who edited Models of Care, said it "focuses on best practices in both the administrative and the clinical realm. It challenges readers to think outside of the box." Key findings of the study include:
- Successful health care organizations view the patient as an active participant in the health care process.
- Progressive health care organizations develop a collaborative relationship with physicians through fostering communication between the plan and physician.
- Effective programs use nurses and case managers in expanded roles.