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Lessons for healthcare system from treatment of the homeless


An article in STAT notes that “to make health care more accessible and higher quality, insurers and providers are experimenting with a number of new approaches — from storing patient information in the cloud to opening clinics inside of grocery stores.

“Close cousins to many of these tactics, however, were implemented even earlier in the homeless health care system. Homeless patients’ unique characteristics — they frequently have multiple chronic conditions, they move around often — overlap with some of the pressures driving medicine’s evolving care model today. And the cost and time constraints of the homeless revealed the weakness of the healthcare system before others saw it.”

Here are four elements in the treatment of homeless people applicable to other parts of healthcare:

  • The use of electronic health records.
  • Mixed providers in one setting.
  • Transitional care.
  • Bringing care to the patients.

To read the story, please hit this link.


Looking at best care models for high-need patients

Here are the basic findings from the Commonwealth Fund of an evidence synthesis of models of care for high-need, high-cost patients:

“In a review conducted for the Institute of Medicine, Chad Boult and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins University identified 15 models of comprehensive care for older adults with chronic illness, which fit into six broad categories related to care settings. Most models reduced hospital use or length of stay, although the evidence was mixed in some cases. Three models—interdisciplinary primary care for heart failure patients, transitional care from hospital to home, and ‘hospital-at-home’ programs that substitute care in the patient’s home in lieu of a hospital stay—showed some evidence of lower cost, although this was not directly measured in all studies.

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