Metropolitan Health Networks and SeniorBridge Partner to Launch In-Home Care Management Pilot to Improve Care and Reduce Unnecessary Hospitalizations
Pilot to Address Treatment Outcomes and High Cost of Care for Seniors with Multiple Chronic Conditions and Frequent Hospitalizations
WEST PALM BEACH and NEW YORK (September 1, 2010) - Metropolitan Health Networks, Inc. (NYSE AMEX: MDF), ("Metcare"), a leading provider of healthcare services in Florida, and SeniorBridge, a national health management company, today announced the launch of a unique year-long care management pilot program that is expected to improve clinical outcomes and quality of life while reducing the overall cost of caring for Medicare beneficiaries. The program, SeniorBridge Care Management for Metcare, will focus on assisting those with multiple chronic conditions who are frequently hospitalized.
The pilot will evaluate an innovative model of care involving specially trained nurses and social workers who deliver ongoing assessments and provision of care in the homes of 100 pre-selected Medicare Advantage members in Florida who are served by Metcare. Unlike a telephonic disease management model, SeniorBridge Care Management for Metcare provides a total care multi-disciplinary approach including face-to-face visits with frail seniors and their caregivers in the comfort of their homes. Vital information will be stored and care will be coordinated through SeniorBridge's Web-based electronic medical record information system.
"With this program, SeniorBridge and Metcare are taking leadership to address a critical need to improve the health and function of the fastest growing segment of our population while reducing unnecessary and costly hospital admissions," said Eric C. Rackow, MD, President and CEO of SeniorBridge and immediate past president of NYU Hospital Center. "We expect our proven model to be a catalyst for improved care, to show significant return on investment and to be a healthcare reform standout."
According to recent research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, one in five seniors are rehospitalized within 30 days of being discharged from a hospital,[i] fueling the reality that Medicare beneficiaries account for 15 percent of the US population[ii] but more than two-thirds (37 percent) of hospitalizations and almost half (47 percent) of total hospital costs.[iii] Alarmingly, only half recall receiving self-care instruction[iv] or seeing a doctor after discharge,[v] suggesting that a substantial number of hospitalizations could be prevented.
"SeniorBridge Care Management for Metcare responds to the clear need for highly trained advocates to help patients at risk for multiple hospitalizations navigate the complexities of their care with a highly personalized approach," said Jose Guethon, MD, MBA, President and COO of Metropolitan Health Networks. "We believe this type of initiative has the potential to build on Metcare's Patient-Centered Medical Home care model, to further empower primary care physicians while improving health literacy, quality of life and care of our customers." Under the pilot program, each qualified customer who chooses to enroll will be assigned, without charge to them, a nurse and social worker care management team. This professional team will develop, in concert with the person's physician, an individual care plan tailored to the patient's functional, medical and emotional needs.
Home safety assessments and evaluations of medical, functional and psychosocial status will identify such basic factors as expired medications and frayed rugs that leave older patients vulnerable to falls, while monitoring for more critical issues such as cognitive decline that may not be readily apparent in a doctor's office or over the phone.
Other services to be available in their homes include health education and counseling, ongoing coordination of care with healthcare providers and family members and on-call care management support twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week.
"Comprehensive assessment and ongoing in-home care management is the groundwork for improved compliance and quality care," said Dr. Guethon. "By providing timely and reliable insights about the challenges, preferences and home environments of our customers, SeniorBridge Care Management for Metcare has the potential to minimize the time our doctors spend chasing medical information and empower them with an even more comprehensive understanding of their customers' needs so they can continually provide higher quality care to those often considered the most difficult to treat."
To ensure collaboration between health professionals treating each individual patient and improve quality of care, an electronic medical record will be created for each participant to manage and organize ongoing assessments, medical and professional notes, clinical and medical analyses, as well as care plans. The unique electronic record is created through SeniorBridge's proprietary information system.
About Metropolitan Health Networks, Inc.
Metropolitan Health Networks, Inc. is a growing healthcare organization that provides comprehensive healthcare services for Medicare Advantage members and other patients in Florida. To learn more about Metcare, please visit its website at http://www.metcare.com.
SeniorBridge is a leading care management company with a 10-year heritage in helping people cope with the challenges of complex chronic illnesses such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. The company's 33 offices and national care management network address the total well-being of its clients through a comprehensive process of assessment, planning, care coordination, advocacy and the provision of direct care. The company has headquarters in New York City and benefits from the support of its advisory board of internationally known experts in geriatrics. To learn more visit www.seniorbridge.com.
Director of Communication
Metropolitan Health Networks, Inc.
Michael Earley, Chairman & CEO
Christine Dardet, APR
Dardet Public Relations
[i] Jencks, New England Journal of Medicine, 2009
[ii] "The Medicare Beneficiary Population Fact Sheet", AARP, 2007 http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/health/fs149_medicare.pdf
[iii] "Medicare Hospital Stays: Comparisons between the Fee-for-Service Plan and Alternative Plans: Statistics Brief #66," Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb66.jsp
[iv] Flacker, J Hospital Medicine, 2007
[v] Jencks, N Engl J Med, 2009