|Health Of Medicare And Medicaid Recipients In Florida Improves
Medicare recipients participating in a large-scale
disease management program in south Florida have experienced
improvements in managing serious conditions like diabetes and
congestive heart failure (CHF), according to research by LifeMasters
Supported Self Care Inc.
LifeMasters is working with the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services (CMS) on a demonstration project in multiple counties
designed to measure the effectiveness of a disease management program
in a Medicare fee-for-service population. The program is available to
beneficiaries who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid and who
have CHF or any combination of CHF, diabetes and coronary heart
Results show that the number of individuals actively
participating in the program has steadily increased as new recruitment
strategies have been incorporated. This increase in participation has
led to greater health improvements the longer these individuals remain
in the program, LifeMasters said.
The goal is to ultimately reduce the number of hospitalizations and overall healthcare costs.
LifeMasters nurses work with participants over the phone
and in their homes to help manage their conditions. They may check
vitals, review medication dosages, or help the participant track weight
and glucose levels – critical information that will be shared
with the participant’s physician. The nurses also have the
training to identify those individuals who have difficulty fulfilling
basic needs such as food, shelter, or safety and connect them with
community resources, the company said.
LifeMasters received an extension from CMS of the
demonstration project. Medicare determines eligibility and who may
participate in the program using a randomized control design. The
program is provided in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Marion,
Volusia, Seminole and Alachua for those beneficiaries who are eligible
to participate and is offered as part of the beneficiaries’
existing healthcare coverage at no additional cost, LifeMasters said.
Address: LifeMasters Supported Self Care Inc., 15635Alton Parkway, Suite 400, Irvine, CA 92618; (949) 789-6500, www.lifemasters.com.