News | March 20, 2008

McKesson Disease Management, Chronic Care Programs Aid Community, Indigent Health

March 21, 2008 - Drawing on its experience in disease management for Medicaid patients and consumer-based technologies, McKesson recently unveiled its Community Care Advantage, software aimed at improving outcomes while eliminating unnecessary costs to help meet the medical needs of indigent, chronically ill and newly discharged patients.

According to recent statistics, health systems absorb more than $5 billion in bad-debt costs each year, and the cost of care for the 90 million Americans without consistent medical coverage is $125 billion. It costs Medicare $12 billion for preventable readmissions occurring within 30 days of discharge, and approximately 22 percent of all emergency department visits are not reimbursed each year.

Community Care Advantage helps providers to provide care while mitigating their financial risk. The following solutions support community wellness and chronic disease programs that extend to the special needs of indigent patients and all patients who have recently been discharged from the hospital. McKesson said Community Health Services help to reduce the cost of serving indigent and high-cost populations by targeting nonreimbursed costs for readmissions, emergency department visits and hospital occupancy. Research shows the sickest 20 percent of the population typically accounts for 80 percent of healthcare spending.

To that end, McKesson�s Community Health Services includes several programs. Community Care Advantage is designed to help reduce bad-debt write-offs and readmissions, and help to ensure effective care delivery for charity care patients. Indigent Care Management helps provide the uninsured and the underinsured with individualized care coordination, access to a medical home, assistance obtaining medical resources and case management services. Readmissions Management is designed to reduce readmission rates by addressing the needs of patients in the first four weeks after hospital discharge. During this time, McKesson helps ensure follow-up care is received, appropriate self-care is followed, and health deteriorations are recognized and treated early. The company said this program helps to reduce the burden of readmissions.

Community Health Technologies provide the tools to enable health systems as they proactively support patients in the community with a chronic disease or those who require additional support from the local healthcare community. These technologies assist in post-acute care and chronic care management. A vast array of community wellness and chronic disease programs are available for providers to directly assist patients, including a library of more than 5,000 health topics and more than 6,000 medication products. The use of Web-based patient education, including vibrant digital animations, and easy-to-understand videos and illustrations help ensure a reach to all socioeconomic population types, and they support ongoing management of post-treatment.

Consumer Convenience Solutions are designed for consumers seeking access, convenience and premier service. These solutions include secure messaging, reimbursable webVisit consultations for nonurgent care, online bill payment, requests for appointments, medication renewals and the ability to receive test results online in a secure manner. The medical care experience is dramatically improved for both consumers and providers through these solutions.

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