Last week, a study came out reaffirming what we at Wellbox have long known: Medicare patients who maintain consistent relationships with their physicians have better chances of staying out of the emergency room.
The study, published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, examined data from three million Medicare beneficiaries between 2011 and 2013. Researchers ultimately found that beneficiaries with a “high continuity of care” demonstrated a 20% reduced risk of an ED visit, observation stay, or hospital admission through the emergency department.
According to the study’s lead author: “Visits with the same physician or a small number of physicians fosters long-term relationships for Medicare patients, which is ultimately good for their health.”
In other words, having clear and stable communication with caregivers was measurably beneficial for the patient’s condition. At Wellbox, this is the core ideal of which our Chronic Care Management (CCM) service is built upon– extending the clinical excellence of a doctor’s office and ensuring that each patient is assessed and, if necessary, treated by a consistent and dedicated staff of care coordinators.
As we’ve previously detailed, CCM is helping patients to receive allergy advice, schedule timely in-person appointments, and even identify individuals at increased risk for cardiac events– all through the use of remotes phone conversations and associated services.
The Annals of Emergency Medicine study proves that CCM, telehealth, and other innovative methods for enhancing continuity of care will be absolutely crucial to improving outcomes in the near future. Patients are eager to communicate with caregivers whom they know and trust, and our healthcare system must provide them with the resources to do so.