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Population Health Pros Get National Support

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, July 23, 2013

Care coordination has been called the "missing link in healthcare." Now the Registered Nurse Ambulatory Care Coordinator Association has formed the first national organization to support nurses and other population health management professionals in care coordinator roles.

Here's another sign that care coordination is gaining traction in the healthcare industry: Care coordinators at Ohio-based Mercy Health have formed what it says is the first national organization to support nurses in care coordinator roles and members of population health management teams.

The new, non-profit Registered Nurse Ambulatory Care Coordinator Association (RNACCa) aims to "support and strengthen evidence-based practice among nurse care coordinators and other population health management professionals," according to its website.

"We've already done some of the legwork; why not share it?" one of the association's co-founders, Teaera Roland, MSN, RN, population health nurse care coordinator for Catholic Health Partners, told me. "We want to get nurses the education that they need to provide the education and tools that the patients need."  

Although care coordination is a relative newcomer in the healthcare world, the stats supporting its value are already making a big impact. For example, Mercy Health's nurse care coordinators helped drive a 51% reduction in hospital admissions, a 35% reduction in readmissions, and a 37% reduction in emergency department visits over the course of a yearlong pilot.

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