Instead of waiting for patients to seek treatment, the care model is preventative as workers contact patients periodically to check in and provide care 24 hours a day, said Dr. David Share, senior vice president of Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Since the program was launched three years ago, the insurer says it has saved about $155 million in health care costs because of improved quality of care and a focus on the goals and needs of individual patients, and services such as expensive emergency room visits have been decreased.
Share said the program has impacted about 2 million Michigan residents as medical practice employees work as a team to keep patients from falling through the cracks.
Dr. Jack Roossien Jr. said his solo practice in West Olive has been a patient-centered medical home for several years.
Roossien said joining the BCBS program has allowed his staff to provide more education to their patients as they explain things in detail and in ways patients understand. The program also gives them the opportunity to hear what their patients want to accomplish and any challenges they may face.
“I don’t know anything more powerful than listening to people,” Roossien said.
Roossien said he thinks patient-centered medical homes will decrease illness in the long run because physicians are then focused on prevention methods and not just helping make their patients better when they are sick.
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