Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, which manages thousands of the state’s Medicaid patients, has found a way to bring down health costs for some of its highest need patients. The organization’s chief medical officer Paco Trilla says the Health@Home program targeted about 450 patients with multiple chronic conditions. They were using a lot of medical services, but not getting better.
“These are patients who have been in the hospital several times in the preceding year, to the emergency room several times," said Trilla. "On average they have seen nine or 10 different physicians who have prescribed many medications.”
To help them manage those conditions better at home, Neighborhood sent medical teams on house calls. So far, Trilla says, it’s working.
“If you go from somewhere around 300, 400 hospital days a month, which is where these patients were, and decrease that by 100 hospital days a month for the population," said Trilla, "the figures add up very quickly.”
Trilla says these patients had an average of $58,000 dollars in medical expenses a year. He says Health@Home has managed to reduce hospital stays and emergency room visits by about 30 percent. And he projects the program will save nearly five million dollars by year’s end.