Holding Hands with Elderly PatientSun Health Care Transitions (SHCT) and Banner iCare™ have formed an alliance to serve chronically ill patients in the Northwest Valley.

The two programs will be sharing one hospital liaison at Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb medical centers so that only one person is approaching patients to introduce each program. Additionally, eligible patients will receive services from both programs for continuity.

“The goal of both programs is to improve the quality of life of members while reducing the total cost of care,” said Jennifer Drago, Sun Health executive vice president of Population Health. Tom Snyder, director of Banner iCare echoed Drago, “This collaboration serves to achieve Banner’s mission of existing to make a difference in people’s lives through excellent patient care.”

Care Transitions is a 30-day post-discharge program designed to help patients recover successfully following a hospitalization. Nurses provide education and self-management support, review medications, make referrals to community and social services, and ensure timely physician follow up.

Sun Health’s program is one of 98 demonstration sites overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is studying models for improving care transitions from the hospital to home and reducing readmissions for high-risk Medicare beneficiaries. Currently, SHCT’s outcomes are #1 in the country among the 98 demonstration sites. SHCT’s average readmission rate 6-7 percent, which is 70 percent lower than expected for the patients enrolled in the program.

Banner iCare is Banner Health’s high-touch, high-tech in-home care service, formerly known as Banner iCare Primary Care or Intensive Ambulatory Care service. Under the iCare model, providers use technology and high-collaborative care to treat chronically ill patients in the Banner Health Network. Patients use a tablet-like device to interact directly with their physicians and other health team members. Banner iCare aims to decrease ER visits, hospitalization, and increase medication compliance while providing in-home care.

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