Tuesday, June 30, 2015

PSD conference explores new model for preventing chronic disease

Preventing chronic disease in the new health care reform landscape means redefining the concept of the traditional primary care environment to create a team-based medical home approach that meets potential patients “where they live.” The Prevention Services Division (PSD) gathered 134 physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other partners at a conference in Denver June 12 to support health care delivery system reforms by sharing common efforts aimed at preventing and managing cardiovascular-related chronic diseases (conference resources).

“We created a platform to support collaboration and share a common language,” said Michelle Lynch, conference coordinator. “Everyone was able to take away something tangible to improve their practices and patient outcomes.”

The prevalence of hypertension and diabetes has increased significantly over the past decade. Meanwhile, because of the Affordable Care Act, more people than ever before are eligible for low or no-cost screening services. PSD is working to make sure this new influx of patients can access and navigate the chronic disease screening and management services they need from health care providers, community health workers and pharmacists working together in a medical home model.

The conference provided PSD the opportunity to highlight some of the evidence-based approaches being implemented in Colorado that support chronic disease primary prevention, including the Diabetes Prevention Program, self-measured blood pressure monitoring, medication therapy management by pharmacists, and the inclusion of community health workers and patient navigators in f the care team.

“The time is now for all hands on deck,” said Marti Macchi of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. “The next chapter in health care reform is team-based care.”

Morning keynote speaker Dr. Omar Hasan of the American Medical Association gave an overview of the new health care landscape, focusing on the AMA’s national strategy of improving health outcomes and curbing cost growth, focusing on data sharing and health care management. Dr. Hasan concluded with a snapshot of the chronic disease picture in Colorado, commending the state for its progress and encouraging those in attendance to continue their efforts at reform.

In the afternoon, Dr. Terri Richardson described a nontraditional project for increasing screening awareness and  access in the community. The Colorado Black Health Collaborative runs the Barbership/Salon Health Outreach Program, providing education, screening, toolkits and referrals at local barbershops and salons. She said the project is a way to reach African Americans - especially men - who either don’t trust or have trouble accessing the health care system.

“Even with insurance, people don’t access the health care system,” said Richardson. “You need to meet people where they live.”

To access archived conference presentations and related resources, visit our webpage.

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