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CCoSP named Beacon community
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Community Care of Southern Piedmont Recognized as Beacon Community
In April 2010 Community Care of Southern Piedmont was recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a Beacon Community - one of only 17 communities nationwide to receive that honor. The recognition included a $15.9 million dollar grant, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, ARRA, that was designed to strengthen the Beacon communities’ health IT infrastructure and health information exchange capabilities.
Community Care of Southern Piedmont was chosen in part because more than 60 percent of the ambulatory practices, three non-profit hospitals and local VA facilities had adopted electronic health records. Upon this foundation Southern Piedmont planned to build greater health IT capabilities that supported early detection of disease and improved management of chronic illness.
Southern Piedmont used information technology, including health information exchanges, to improve provider communication and increase patient access to health records. The aim was to improve care coordination, encourage patient involvement in their own medical care, and obtain better health outcomes while controlling cost.
Specific elements of the initiative included:
- Adding care managers and pharmacists, and mental health counselors to the care team for patients with diabetes, congestive heart failure, hypertension, and other chronic diseases in the area to help establish a more seamless, integrated health care experience
- Expanding opportunities for patient education and involvement through a specialized program and clinics in the community including schools
- Expanding health IT to support increased communication and collaboration among members of the care team including patients
Community Care of Southern Piedmont, which serves Rowan, Cabarrus and Stanly counties, is a local coalition of health care and community service organizations that share a mission to increase access to health care for Medicaid and dually enrolled Medicaid and Medicare recipients.
To see how technology is improving patient engagement and management of chronic conditions, please see "Veronica's Story," (below) a video detailing the experiences of a patient working with care managers and other health professionals in the Beacon Community.
For an overview on what Beacon Communities are all about, please click "play" on the video below.