Michigan ACO aims to manage diseases at home

By Mary Mosquera
12:19 PM

Case manager program keeps physicians informed

The Michigan Pioneer ACO through its affiliate Detroit Medical Center has established a case manager program so physicians can extend their care for patients between appointments and after hospitalizations with personalized services at home.

Patients work with a case manager in collaboration with their primary care physician to manage their illness, including symptoms, medications and accompanying concerns.

The Personalized Care at Home service offers daily support to reduce reliance on extraordinary measures, such as emergency room visits, that often impact quality of life and cost. The service is designed to empower and guide patients to manage their illness from home.

The Detroit Medical Center, a regional health system, competed for and received designation as a Michigan Pioneer Accountable Care Organization. It is one of 32 healthcare organizations from across the country that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Center named Pioneer ACOs, which will share in cost savings they achieve for the Medicare program.

The Michigan Pioneer ACO will test the effectiveness of several models of payment in helping organizations make a rapid transition to higher quality care at a lower cost to Medicare.

Current healthcare trends will force every provider to innovate, said Carrie Harris-Muller, Michigan Pioneer ACO president. “We must provide individuals more comprehensive tools and skills to manage their health, and we have to do it at a lower cost,” she said in an April 30 announcement.

Michigan Pioneer ACO has linked up with Detroit-based @HOMe Support, a subsidiary of Hospice of Michigan, to quickly start up the case manager personalized care program.

@HOMe Support has more than 10 years of experience providing supportive care to patients living with chronic illnesses. In addition, it has highly trained interdisciplinary staff, infrastructure, and processes in place for immediate implementation.

In March, Hospice of Michigan released a study that showed that shifting a number of disease management services to the home environment through the @HOMe Support program reduced patient costs significantly, for one group by over $3,000 per month. The pilot study on advanced illness management strategy was funded by a grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation and conducted by Hospice of Michigan in collaboration with Wayne State University.