The AtlantiCare Special Care Center (SCC) is a primary care center designed for patients with a chronic illness, such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, asthma, or emphysema.
The clinic-which serves about 1,000 patients in the Atlantic City, N.J. area-was created through a partnership between AtlantiCare, the region's largest healthcare provider, and the HEREIU Local 54 Health and Welfare Fund, a large multiemployer trust fund for service workers at hotels, restaurants, and casinos.
Initially funded with costs shared by the health system and trust fund, the risk moved to an adjusted per-member-per-month rate for subsequent payers.
The SCC puts patients and their families first in total clinic design. The following care coordination practices have improved patient compliance and satisfaction:
According to an analysis conducted between 2008 and 2009, patients experienced 41 percent fewer inpatient admissions, 48 percent fewer ED visits, 25 percent fewer surgical procedures, and improved outcomes in pharmaceutical adherence, quality indicators, and generic medication use. Spending on primary care visits, prescription drugs, labs, and testing all increased.
It is assumed that these increases are a result of higher compliance, and the program still produced a first-year savings of 28 percent of total net spending for the highest-risk patients.
This article is excerpted with permission from the following resource: Goburdhun, N., Caring for Vulnerable Populations, American Hospital Association, Chicago, 2011.
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