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Diabetes Coordination Program a Lesson in Rural Innovation

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 29, 2012

We hear a lot these days about the challenges facing rural healthcare providers.

Those challenges are real and daunting. They include accessing technology and capital, finding qualified clinicians and other skilled healthcare workers and technicians, and providing access and wellness strategies for a population mix that can often be disproportionately poor, uninsured, unhealthy and isolated.

We should not forget, however, that rural healthcare providers are also creating innovative programs to overcome these many obstacles. These rural healthcare professionals are not sitting back waiting for someone else to solve their problems.

For example, Choptank Community Health System's six federally qualified health centers serving isolated communities along Maryland's Eastern Shore is using a $400,000 two-year grant from not-for-profit CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to develop an intensive intervention program for noncompliant Type 2 diabetes patients.

CCHS believes the program will pay for itself with healthier diabetic patients requiring fewer emergency interventions and hospitalizations.

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1 comments on "Diabetes Coordination Program a Lesson in Rural Innovation"


Laura S. Morris (3/1/2012 at 2:32 PM)
We did this using community-based patient navigators under the new federal Patient Navigator Demonstration Program. Unfortunately we were not able to sustain it when the grant ended as no single provider was able to "own" and show an immediate return the community investment. Until there is a reimbursement for care coordination or providers are given a financial encentive, this proven concept for dealing with chronic diseases will go wanting.