As a Wall Street Journal article notes: “Managing those people’s health care is often difficult. Integrated health systems, such as Kaiser Permanente and Mayo Clinic, aim to ensure that treatment for one condition doesn’t interfere with care the patient is receiving for other diseases. Often, however, the responsibility of coordinating treatments falls on the patients themselves.”
Trying to avoid serious complications from taking different medications and dealing with the fact that too often physicians of a patient with multiple chronic illnesses don’t talk with each other about the patient’s case are among the biggest challenges.
Maybe it will help that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a curriculum for training healthcare professionals and others in caring for patients with multiple chronic conditions.
HHS has taken other steps to help patients with multiple chronic conditions. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a HHS agency, now reimburse providers for time spent coordinating chronically ill patients’ care outside of regular office visits.
Obviously, many experts hope that electronic health records will increasingly help physicians keep track of their chronically ill patients.
One recommendation is that patients create their own medical records by, for example, keeping updated lists of medicines that they are taking and bringing them to all visits to physicians.