Rendell Releases Prescription for Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell proposed a new approach to address management of chronic illness, Prescription for Pennsylvania. The program will start by targeting diabetes care and is based on the Wagner Chronic Care Model, developed by a Seattle based team in the 1990s.
Key components of the Wagner Model include empowering patients to manage their own health, giving them a single point of access to contact healthcare providers, use of information technology to help incorporate best practices and support efficient use of data to improve care for chronic conditions.
Some of the program components, particularly the information technology pieces, can be costly. Rendell’s 2008 budget requests $2 million to support physician access to web tools, such as patient registries.
Rendell’s plan will overhaul treatment for chronic disease and, potentially, revise the payment practices of insurers. The State has significant bargaining power as it manages some of the biggest organizations purchasing group health insurance in the State.
Other components of Rendell’s plan include regional collaboratives to disseminate coordinated care practices, an overhaul of reimbursement practices for chronic conditions. The program will also develop regional health information groups to support collection of patient data and provide coaches for provider groups.
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