National Jewish to Provide Disease Management to Colorado Medicaid Patients with Asthma

National Jewish Medical and Research Center will offer a comprehensive disease management program to Colorado Medicaid patients with asthma. The contract, signed with the Colorado Department of HealthCare Policy and Financing, comes as a result of a successful pilot program conducted with 258 Colorado Medicaid patients with asthma in 2001. National Jewish expects to enroll about 1,000 patients in the program.

"We are delighted that the state of Colorado has chosen us to help thousands of Colorado's neediest asthma patients," said David Tinkelman, MD, Vice President of Health Initiatives at National Jewish Medical and Research Center. "We are confident that we can improve patients' health and save the state money at the same time."

During the program, National Jewish is providing tailored asthma education and telephone support to caregivers, parents, and participants in the Colorado Medicaid fee-for-service program, and provides physicians with ongoing clinical reports regarding the status of their patients' health and educational needs.
The disease management program relies primarily on written materials and proactive phone calls to help asthma patients better understand and manage their asthma.

Via the phone, registered nurses evaluate the severity of patients' asthma, their knowledge of the disease, and their ability to manage an asthma episode. They then help patients develop detailed, customized plans to monitor and manage their disease, and send patients a variety of educational materials and a peak flow monitor, if needed.

Periodically, nurses call patients to see how they are doing, encourage them to stick with their plans, and answer any questions. In addition, patients who have questions or problems can contact the call center 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To help coordinate care with patients' primary care physicians, National Jewish sends physicians written reports after each telephone contact.

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