Study integrates home and community-based services with case management
CHICAGO – Aetna Better Health of Illinois, an Aetna Medicaid plan, and Addus Home Care, a national provider of home and community-based services (HCBS), will conduct a pilot study on the impact of providing smart phones to home care aides who assist Illinois residents served under the state's Integrated Care Program (ICP).
ICP provides assistance such as meal preparation, bathing, housekeeping and transportation to seniors and adults with disabilities who qualify for Medicaid. The pilot study seeks to demonstrate the benefits of smart phones to help home care aides report changing health conditions of members in real time to supervisors and to the members' primary care physicians. Addus Home Care aides are in consumers' homes on a frequent basis, observing changes in the physical, mental and environmental conditions of their clients.
"Through the mobile device, we can really put the home care aide on the health care team," said Mark Heaney, president and CEO of Addus. "Changes in an ICP participant's condition can be communicated in real time, allowing for early identification and intervention by health plan case managers."
In 2011 the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) implemented the ICP for older adults and for adults with disabilities who are Medicaid-eligible. The state's first integrated health care program, the ICP coordinates services across the continuum of care, helping to prevent unnecessary health care utilization and costs. Among the ICP's primary goals are improving clinical outcomes, preventing unnecessary hospitalizations and improving management of chronic conditions. Aetna Better Health and Addus Home Care administer the program, which operates in DuPage, Kane, Kankakee, Will and suburban Cook counties, with 18,000 members.
"Aetna Better Health of Illinois has a deep commitment to its members and to using innovative approaches to better coordinate the care of its most fragile members. Our collaboration on this important project clearly demonstrates that commitment," said Sanjoy Musunuri, CEO of Aetna Better Health of Illinois.
Home and community-based services are designed to help members remain in their homes. According to a 2010 analysis of Illinois' long-term care services conducted by HCBS Strategies, Inc., providing these services to at-risk older adults has reduced overall nursing home utilization, and has helped control Illinois' long-term care spending.
In the ICP pilot, Aetna Better Health and Addus expect to leverage home and community-based services to provide similar results with emergency and acute care services. Aetna and Addus plan to conduct an outcome study on the program in 2014.
About Aetna Better Health of Illinois
In Illinois, Aetna Better Health coordinates the care for more than 18,000 individuals in the Integrated Care Program for seniors and persons with disabilities who have Medicaid, working to link primary, specialty, long-term care and community services for individuals based on their needs, strengths and expressed goals. Information regarding Aetna Better Health of Illinois is available at www.aetnabetterhealth.com/Illinois.
About Addus HealthCare
Founded in 1979, Addus HealthCare is a nationally recognized provider of high quality health care services. Addus provides comprehensive health care services including skilled nursing, personal care aides, and rehabilitation. Addus HealthCare currently holds over 450 home care contracts throughout the country. The company provides health care services to over 25,000 weekly consumers from 129 offices in 19 states.
Aetna (NYSE: AET) is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 44 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers’ compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna’s customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.
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