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Senior Citizen's Guide to Baltimore

Seniors in Nursing Homes Need a Trusted Partner for Their Coordinated Care

Today’s health care system can be challenging to navigate—on a good day. Now, imagine if you were a nursing-home resident suffering from multiple medical conditions that require not only a team of medical professionals, but a variety of prescription medications just to help you through the day. For many, this isn’t hard to imagine—it’s a reality, one that causes fear and anxiety for everyone involved.

The lack of proper care coordination creates a significant burden on the health care system as a whole. According to the Commonwealth Fund, people with five or more chronic conditions have historically made up approximately 20 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries, but accounted for more than two-thirds of the program’s costs. In fact, a 2006 Dartmouth Atlas study found that up to $40 billion (or nearly one-third) of what is spent to care for seriously and chronically ill people could potentially be avoided if there was closer coordination of individual care.

Fortunately, there are people out there who can help. As a case manager for Evercare by UnitedHealthcare, my job is to help coordinate all aspects of nursing home care so that residents don’t get caught in this complex web. I closely monitor my patients, identify how to improve their care and prevent illness, and work with doctors and pharmacists to make sure that treatments are working well together. In the end, I’m able to create a better understanding and relationship between patients and everyone who is trying to keep them healthy.

Severely ill patients need a partner to help monitor and manage their care. Case managers can play a vital role in ensuring that the patient’s medical and wellness needs are met safely, effectively and as efficiently as possible. 

A University of Minnesota study found Evercare reduced hospitalizations for nursing-home residents by 45 percent and cut trips to the emergency room by 50 percent1. We try whenever possible to keep our patients in familiar surroundings for tests and treatment that would otherwise be covered only in a hospital or emergency room.

The result of coordinated care means seniors get better care and peace-of-mind and ultimately can lead healthier lives. If you or a loved one is in need of long-term care, I encourage you to seek a plan that includes the support of a caring and committed case manager.

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