Sun Health Care Transitions Celebrates 2nd Anniversary with 2nd Consecutive National Award from Care Continuum Alliance

Sun Health Care TransitionsNearly 2,000 chronic disease patients served through nonprofit program

SURPRISE, ARIZ. – Nov. 6, 2013 – Anniversaries are often marked by a special surprise.  For Sun Health Care Transitions, that surprise was doubly exciting.  The team celebrated its second anniversary by receiving a second consecutive “Outstanding Leadership in Population Health Award” from the Care Continuum Alliance (CCA). Representing more than 200 health companies, organizations and individual providers committed to improving the health of populations, the CCA focuses on raising care quality, improving health outcomes and reducing costs for individuals affected by chronic disease.

Sun Health, together with Banner Health, was honored in the “Advancing Accountable Care” category for both organizations’ successful collaboration “…toward Community Health and Wellness.” Sun Health Vice President of Business Development Jennifer Drago, MHSA, MBA, FACHE and Banner Health Vice President for Patient Care Innovation Deborah H. Dahl, BSE, MBA, FACHE accepted the award during CCA’s national meeting, held Oct. 23-25 in Scottsdale.

“Sun Health Care Transitions is impacting the lives of thousands of patients and their families,” explained Ron Guziak, president and chief executive officer of Sun Health. “As one of 102 sites designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a Community-based Care Transitions Program, we are also demonstrating how to assist individuals to take control of their own health status.”

The award acknowledges the program’s impact on nearly 2,000 chronic disease patients, who are living healthier lives since the program launched in November 2011. Partnering with Banner Boswell Medical Center, Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, community physicians and other providers, Care Transitions nurses educate patients on how to better manage their disease and stay healthy. Ultimately, this support reduces their chances of being rehospitalized. Fewer than seven percent of patients participating in this free program have been readmitted, compared to a 20-percent national average among Medicare services beneficiaries.

This latest award is one in a series of recent recognitions at the local, regional and national levels. A study on the program also was recently published on the BMC Geriatrics website. The study showed that in addition to high levels of patient satisfaction with the Care Transitions program, participants’ confidence with self-care was significantly improved. Further, the program demonstrated a 73-percent reduction in readmissions and an actual Medicare cost savings during the nine-month period of $214,192, excluding administrative costs. The study can be found at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2318/13/94.

About Sun Health
A long-standing community partner championing healthy living, Sun Health is a community-based health care organization providing pathways to Population Health through philanthropy, senior living, community programs and superior health care. Population Health is an approach that aims to improve the health of an entire population.

Nonprofit Sun Health has employed a variety of resources to develop healthy living programs that have the potential to enrich lives – for residents, patients, volunteers and donors. Its core service lines include:

  • Philanthropy for local health care, community health programs and senior living,
  • Independent senior living campus life at The Colonnade (Surprise), Grandview Terrace (Sun City West) and La Loma Village (Litchfield Park), and
  • Community Health Programs: Sun Health Care Transitions, Sun Health Medication Management, Sun Health Memory Care Navigator, Sun Health Center for Health & Wellbeing, and Sun Health Community Education.

About Sun Health Care Transitions
The Sun Health Care Transitions program is designed to help patients navigate through the difficult and sometimes daunting experience of living with a chronic illness. A partnership between Sun Health, Banner Boswell Medical Center, Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, community physicians and other health providers, Care Transitions assists those living with chronic diseases in effectively self-managing their condition and, in turn, reducing hospitalizations.

Transitions care managers work directly with care teams at Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb to identify patients for whom the program would be a valuable resource. Once identified, Care Transitions staff helps the patient understand and adhere to the medication schedule, provides education about the condition(s) and what to watch for, ensures the patient receives timely follow-up care, and helps connect the patient to other community resources such as transportation or home-delivered meals. The ongoing support and guidance provided through Care Transitions helps patients become more aware and better able to manage chronic illness.

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