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Population-health coordinators in New Jersey


The Great Falls of the Passaic River, in Paterson, N.J.

Steven Peskin , M.D., of  Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, talks about population-health management, which it uses as a vital part of its  goal to lower costs and improve care.

The core of the effort is “partnering with providers to offer valuable claims information to help them better manage patients with expensive chronic conditions,” reports FierceHealthPayer.

Dr. Peskin says: “A cornerstone to our work is what we call population care coordinators. We now have more than 250 nurses across the state of New Jersey who work in the physician practices. There may be a dozen working in a large system or there might be one coordinator for two or three small practices. Although they’re employed by the actual practices, these folks are trained by Horizon. We provide a two-day training at the beginning of their tenure, so to speak, but it doesn’t stop there. It continues with face-to-face mentoring, webinars and quarterly meetings. So that’s a real lynchpin to the work that we’ve been doing with the practices.”

The care coordinators work metaphorically shoulder-to-shoulder, side-by-side with the physicians, the nurses and physicians’ assistants in the clinical practices.”

The spread of care coordination


Modern Healthcare gives an update on care coordination (aka navigation). It reports:

”A growing number of health systems, accountable care organizations and medical home-style practices are deploying care coordinators—which some call navigators. Health systems that have invested in care-coordination staffers include Bon Secours Health System, Summa Health System, Mercy Health Select, Partners HealthCare, Advocate Healthcare, Banner Health and the University of Michigan Health System. That is changing how patients get care and it’s changing the jobs of doctors, nurses and other front-line providers.”

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