Sussex County Council recently voted to enter Delaware’s first Mobile Integrated Healthcare program to assist patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
In a nutshell, the program will provide weekly home visits from paramedica who are trained specifically about COPD treatment.
“Patients who have COPD often will find themselves using the emergency department and/or having a hospital stay based on the exacerbation of their illness,” explained Kim Blanch, community services manager in Population Health at Beebe Healthcare. “This is a partnership between Beebe and Sussex County Emergency Services to have a trained paramedic visit them in their homes. They might need help with affordability of their medication, medication use, follow-up of appointments, home safety concerns. This is about reaching patients where they are and being able to visit a patient in his home setting. It allows us to go into their environment.”
It reminds us of an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in July that focuses on kidney disease, with one of the elements of that order being more people receiving care at home. The thought is this is a great way to reduce costs, as well as permitting people to receive their care where they are most comfortable — at home. A goal is to get 80 percent of dialysis patients receiving that treatment at their home — the current number is 12 percent, according to Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, via NPR.
This seems like a concerted plan of attack to improve patient care and alleviate costs, and that is something we can get behind without hesitation.