New Initiative Seeks to Improve Chronic Illness Management
The UC Academic Health Center has joined a national collaborative that will work to improve the care of patients with chronic illness.
Chronic (long-term or frequent) illness affects more than 100 million Americans. Eighty percent of Medicare recipients have one or more chronic illnesses, which account for about 75 of percent U.S. health-care dollars spent.
UC will work with the Health Alliance, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and teams around the country to better define programs and identify best practices for managing chronic illnesses such as asthma, depression, diabetes, hypertension and chronic heart failure, among others.
This year-long initiative, called the Academic Chronic Care Collaborative, is a partnership between the Association for Academic Medical Colleges and Improving Chronic Illness Care, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“As a whole, the U.S. is set up very much as an acute-care system (for rapidly developing illnesses),” says T.J. Redington, MD, who will head the chronic-care teams, “yet most of the patients we see are living with chronic illness.
“It’s important that we come up with strategies for managing chronic illness in our clinics and hospitals,” says Dr. Redington, internal medicine professor at UC, community health director for the Health Alliance and medical director for Ohio’s Medicaid program.
Physicians, nurses and allied health professionals from a variety of practices and clinics have identified target chronic conditions to manage. They will study a number of sites, including Hoxworth Medicine Clinic, Hoxworth Medicine-Pediatrics Clinic, Wyoming Family Medicine Practice, Children’s Pediatric Primary Care Center, the Internal Medicine Clinic at Christ Hospital and the Consumer Wellness Clinic.