Friday, June 26, 2009

A Personal, Coordinated Approach to Care

What a wonderful column by Jane Brody of The New York Times, who totally grasps and explains the medical model concept in health care. I must confess, I've heard people talk about the medical home, in reference to our own health care practice, Premier HealthCare, a medical practice providing coordinated care with doctors and specialists who are trained to treat people with developmental disabilities.

To the Odom family of Durham, N.C., Dr. Gloria M. Trujillo is a savior. Johnny Odom, at 57, has congestive heart failure, diabetes, kidney failure, high blood pressure, gout, high cholesterol and blindness in one eye. His daughter, Tonia, 35, has rheumatoid arthritis, and her 10-year-old son has asthma, a seizure disorder, high blood pressure, prediabetes and sleep apnea.
Dr. Trujillo, a primary care physician at the Family Medicine Center at Duke University, takes care of them all, coordinating the care they receive from various specialists via electronic records and e-mail. Ms. Odom uses the clinic’s online health portal to get the family’s medical information, make appointments and check the lab results Dr. Trujillo sends her.
At the same time, the extraordinary care the family receives, which is financed by Medicare and Medicaid, saves money by preventing medical complications and keeping the Odoms out of the hospital.
The Duke clinic represents a promising approach to delivering better health care: the so-called medical home.

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