December 18, 2012

Health Notes: Dec. 18, 2012

Health summit evaluates new health program

LAKE PLACID — More than 150 area health-care providers, state health officials, health-care administrators, business leaders and health-insurance company representatives gathered in Lake Placid last week to hear from experts on the performance of the Adirondack Medical Home Pilot.

Adirondack Medical Home is a five-year demonstration model that is transforming primary care in a five-county area.

“The health-care practitioners participating in the Medical Home Pilot are addressing what health-care experts call the ‘Triple Aim,’ said keynote speaker Dr. L. Gordon Moore, chief medical officer of Treo Solutions consulting firm. “They are striving to improve population health outcomes, enhance the patient experience of care, including quality, access and reliability and reduce the cost of care.

“The early results show that the Pilot practitioners are on the right path.”

Moore, whose firm is using claims data to assess the pilot’s effectiveness, noted that several important conclusions can already be drawn. He said that it was overwhelmingly clear that patients with two or more chronic conditions were the biggest cost drivers.

“If you want to hold down costs, focus on these folks,” he said in a statement.

He also said that better coordination of care, one of the pilot’s major efforts, is essential.

“If you are seeing a specialist and a primary-care physician and you don’t know which to turn to, you’re twice as likely to end up in the hospital.”

The conference, sponsored by Adirondack Health Institute, was the fourth health-care summit held in the last five years to address the primary care needs of the 200,000 people living in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton and Warren counties.

This year’s conference also addressed care management, patient engagement and health workforce development.

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