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Diabetes Coordination Program a Lesson in Rural Innovation

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 29, 2012

What happens in two years when the CareFirst grant money runs out?

"Once the funding goes away we will have to look at how we can maintain an incentive program. That is the one wildcard in all of that," Strube says. "Our hope is that as we are able to demonstrate this we will along the way become certified as a diabetic education site with the American Diabetes Association. That will help us provide a service that is reimbursable with insurance. By capturing that reimbursement we should be able to sustain the program post grant."

Strube believes that a successful diabetes intervention program could also serve as a blueprint for treating other chronic diseases. All of this would help to reduce spiraling healthcare costs and alleviate other challenges that chronically understaffed and underfunded rural healthcare providers face.

"For our uninsured population, we don't generate a lot of revenue. The savings are to the system, not necessarily to us. Along the way, if we can show that we are bending the cost curve, we share in those savings," Strube says.

"The key thing is we know that if we can engage the patients and their families in making the investment to do the things they need to do, we know their health will improve."


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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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.