Through care coordination, patients with chronic disease throughout Aroostook County are learning to take better care of themselves and, in turn, lead healthier, more active lifestyles. At an upcoming TAMC Community Lunch and Learn/Healthy Aging Luncheon, the public will have the opportunity to hear some of the success stories from patients and care givers who are making this happen.
Care Coordination in The County will begin with an hour-long community health fair on Wednesday, January 22, at 10:00 a.m. at the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center. More than a dozen exhibits featuring health information, services and free screenings will be featured.
At 11:00 a.m., attendees will enjoy a buffet lunch, followed by a presentation and interactive discussion on care coordination. The presentation will include first-hand accounts from two local care coordinators and two of their patients. After sharing their experience, the presenters will take questions from the audience.
“Care coordination is about giving our patients, the right care, at the right time, in the right place for the best patient outcomes. Care coordination is a best practice patient care model that is patient centered keeping the patient connected to their very own care team in which they, the patient, are a valued member of that team,” said Beverly Joy, northern Maine regional care coordinator manager.
The care coordination process involves collaboration, assessment, evaluation, planning, and facilitation as an ongoing process in daily duties. TAMC care coordinators, all registered nurses, advocate for patients regarding options and resources to health care needs essential in reaching optimal outcomes.
TAMC’s efforts, as part of EMHS, which was named one of only 32 Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations in the country, have made it a leader in this innovative healthcare delivery model. The program, known as Beacon Health, was intended to improve the coordination, efficiency, effectiveness, quality, and cost of healthcare.
Initially, approximately 8,000 people, including nearly 3,000 Aroostook County residents, received care coordination services through Beacon Health. The participants received Medicare benefits and saw participating primary care providers.
The program has since expanded statewide to serve more residents in northern Maine and throughout the state. TAMC, Northern Maine Medical Center, Fish River Rural Health, and Katahdin Valley Health Center are among 19 hospitals and primary care practices across Maine now participating in the Beacon Health Network, a subsidiary of EMHS.
In a new program that began on January 1, 2014, more than 5,000 State of Maine employees and their dependents covered by the Maine State Employee Health Commission (SEHC) are part of the network. More than 1,000 residents of northern Maine are covered under the agreement, and will access their care through one of the four regional providers.
The work of care coordination includes many facets of healthcare processes involving a team of providers working together efficiently and effectively. Care coordinators work collaboratively with the health care team to address specific needs, including the individual as a “whole,” keeping in mind physical, emotional, beliefs, cultural, and other areas that impact the patient’s overall wellbeing.
“It’s not always about success in achieving goals, but rather the journey in getting there,” said Lorraine Deschaine, care coordinator. Deschaine, along with her colleague Nancy Denton, care coordinator, will speak about their experiences and each be joined by a patient they work with as part of the panel discussion on January 22.
Cost for the program and meal is $10 per person. Members enrolled in TAMC’s Senior Connection program pay only $5. For more information about the event, or to reserve a seat, call (207) 768-4171.