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Saint Peter’s Healthcare System to launch patient-centered medical home

Monday June 30, 2014
Margaret Drozd, RN
Margaret Drozd, RN
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Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, New Brunswick, N.J., will launch a patient-centered medical home to benefit high-need uninsured and underinsured adults with diabetes mellitus and hypertension who reside in central New Jersey.
According to a news release, Saint Peter’s will provide education and preventive care under the initiative as of July 1.
“The patient-centered medical home is a way of organizing primary care that emphasizes care coordination and communication,” Margaret Drozd, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, a family nurse practitioner and director of Community Mobile Health Services for Saint Peter’s, said in a news release. “Such a model enables us to transform primary care into what patients want it to be. Medical homes in turn can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve patients’ and providers’ experience of care.”
A $20.5 million state grant to be distributed over five years (2012-2017) is funding the project, the release said. The grant was awarded under New Jersey’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program.
Patients will be referred into the program via outpatient services, the ED, inpatient services, same-day service locations, and community health screenings conducted by Saint Peter’s clinical staff. The program will include the use of multi-therapeutic outpatient evidenced-based management, lifestyle modification, nutritional consultation, intensive hospital discharge planning, a dedicated patient navigation system and improved social services.
“This highly targeted effort takes direct aim at two of the most serious but often preventable threats to human health today,” said Meena Murthy, MD, an endocrinologist and chief of the division of endocrinology, nutrition and metabolism at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. “Comprehensive community outreach is crucial if diabetes and hypertension are to be defeated.”
A 2012 community health needs assessment study by Saint Peter’s Healthcare System and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, together with a variety of community partners, demonstrated that diabetes and hypertension are two of the most prevalent health issues affecting the residents of central New Jersey. Among adults surveyed, 56.2% had been diagnosed with at least one chronic condition, and 30.8% had been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
“Saint Peter’s effort to educate the public about diabetes and hypertension, while coupling those lessons with preventive care, is the way of the future in medicine,” Drozd said in the release. “The healthcare of yesterday was too often about treating advanced disease symptoms in a hospital setting. Tomorrow is about nipping disease in the bud before it can cost us both dollars and lives.”


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