Unfortunately, for some people, finding the right care at the right time and at the right place can be a challenging experience. But thanks to LFHC's Community Case Management program, barriers to care are being broken down and patients are receiving the help they need regardless of their ability to pay. In some cases, it's just a matter of spending a little extra time with our patients.
Such was the case with Edgar Santos, who ended up in Lutheran's emergency room after suffering complications from diabetes. He had lost weight, was experiencing vision problems, and struggled to manage his condition on his own. "He was very weak and could barely stand," said Mario Pineda-Hernandez, a Community Case Management care manager working in Adult Medicine.
Care managers, like Mario, go the extra mile and communicate with their patients to make sure they are following their care plans or have any questions. For instance, Mario helped his patient understand the importance of using his glucometer and taking his meds. Care managers support patients in following their provider’s care plan. By his fourth visit to see Olga Filipova, M.D., in Adult Medicine, his health was significantly improving.
Through this additional layer of support, Mr. Santos is now attending his medical appointments, taking his medication regularly, using insulin as directed and has avoided unnecessary emergency room and hospital visits. “Lutheran's expanded support impacts patients across our network," said Jason Hyde, AVP of Community Case Management. "We have embedded case management staff at our LFHC sites and by working as part of the care team with providers, nurses, MAs, and PSAs, we are able to provide additional support to our high risk patients to improve not only the individual's health, but our community's health."
According to Dr. Filipova, "We are helping people connect the dots and manage their chronic illnesses successfully, and keeping them out of the emergency room." By working alongside our patients to help them improve their health, LFHC aims to improve health outcomes, improve our patients' health care experience, and make certain patients avoid unnecessary visits to the emergency room and hospital.
Mr. Santos was glad he was introduced to LFHC, Mario and Dr. Filipova. "These people are beautiful here," he said.