Millions of Americans suffer from chronic illnesses that impact how they live, work and play in their daily life. While some health problems are genetic, experts believe that a lot of illnesses are influenced by poor diets, work stress, trauma or lack of exercise.
Currently in the United States, more than 30 million Americans have diabetes. 1.5 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed annually according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). One out of three Americans have high blood pressure according to the American Heart Association and another 40 million adults in the U.S. suffer from anxiety disorders according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Many people not only battle one illness, but have two or more chronic illnesses impacting their lives.
Physicians across the country are working to find safe, proven methods of helping patients set health goals and achieve them. One of those proven methods include Chronic Care Management or CCM. You can ask your healthcare provider what types of CCM programs they offer if you suffer from diabetes, anxiety, high blood pressure or even arthritis.
In 2018, Access Health Louisiana (AHL) initiated a CCM program for its patients. Within the first 10 months of enrollment, 53% of patients saw a decrease in their weight, 55% decreased their body mass index (BMI), 71% lowered their A1C levels, and 92% saw a decrease in the PHQ-9 score. PHQ stands for Patient Health Questionnaire. The PHQ-9 test scores for depression.
AHL’s program pairs patients who enroll with a personalized health coach. The health coach helps the patient set attainable health goals and shows them ways to achieve and maintain those goals. “The patient starts to build more of a one-on-one relationship and you can see over time how that builds,” says Chatrian Kanger, Vice President of Population Health at Access Health Louisiana. “The CCM program allows us to provide a little more support outside of the doctor’s office for patients. The health coach helps build on your visit with your Primary Care Physician by creating a care plan.”
The CCM health coaches also coordinate your care between specialists, testing centers, hospitals and even your pharmacy. “They do a great job reminding me when my medications are due for refills, as well as finding me the best prices on my medications,” says a patient of the Washington Community Health Center. As an added patient benefit, the Access Health Louisiana Pharmacy offers free delivery of your medication to your home.
To enroll in AHL’s CCM program, you must be an AHL patient and have two or more chronic illnesses. All participants receive emergency access to healthcare professionals 24 hours a day/7 days a week. For more information on how to become an AHL patient and enroll in CCM, call toll-free 1-866-530-6111. You must have a Medicare Health Insurance card (red, white & blue card) to participate in the CCM program.