Priority Health creates new program to reduce hospital readmission rates and speed up recovery time for Medicare patients

(Grand Rapids, Mich. - December 9, 2014)
A new, data-driven rehabilitation program, developed by Priority Health, will personalize care for Medicare members and help them avoid unnecessary hospital time.

"Most patients leave the hospital without a clear plan or guide for what's next, leading to large variations in the care they receive, costs and outcomes," said Jay LaBine, M.D., chief medical officer for Priority Health. "The rehabilitation care program supports the incredible work our team already delivers by creating resources for our members and their families, ensuring they have a clear understanding of what to expect after a hospital stay."

Historically, health systems use the entire 60-day Medicare-assisted timeframe for hospital stays as a benchmark for patient rehabilitation. Now, with the help of a program from NaviHealth, Priority Health care managers work closely with the discharge staff of a hospital to set goals and clear recovery dates in order to provide personalized and efficient care for patients.

This data-driven approach to rehabilitation has successfully proven to improve efficiency and quality of care for Medicare patients. Priority Health has seen hospital readmission rates decrease, length of hospital stays reduced by 15 percent and access to post-surgical services improve by 12 percent.

"It's great to see how health care is transforming and becoming more outcome-based," continues Labine. "Many of the patients we interact with can't believe that their insurance company is part of their care and discharge process."

Priority Health has a long history of offering care management programs that improve care for Medicare patients. A 2013 study by Johns Hopkins University and the Alliance of Community Health Plans revealed that members of Priority Health's Medicare Advantage plans are three times less likely to be readmitted to the hospital than those enrolled in traditional Medicare due to Priority Health's established patient support programs.

About Priority Health:

Priority Health is an award-winning, Michigan-based non-profit health plan nationally recognized for improving the health and lives of the people it serves. It continues to lead the industry in engaging members in their health, delivering effective health and disease management programs and working with physicians to improve health care outcomes and performance. Priority Health is one of only 20 health plans nationwide offering wellness programs accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, an organization which also rated it among the best health plans in the nation. The State of Michigan named the Priority Health HMO the benchmark plan for all individual and group HMO plans to model.

Priority Health offers a broad portfolio of health benefit options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Its network of health care providers features 95 percent of practicing physicians available in Michigan and more than 900,000 health care providers nationwide.