Program designed to improve health, reduce hospitalizations & decrease disease complications
Middlesboro, Ky. Today, Governor Ernie Fletcher announced a Medicaid pilot project to help Kentuckians who suffer from diabetes. The project will serve people in Bell and Floyd counties, which have been identified as being among the counties with the highest incidence of diabetes in the state – 6,100 people in the two counties combined.
“We want to improve the health of those with diabetes, reduce hospitalizations, help Medicaid members in managing their care and decrease some of the complications caused by diabetes,” said Governor Fletcher.
Diabetes causes various complications and is a leading cause of death in Kentucky and the United States. There were more than 91,000 diabetes-related hospitalizations in Kentucky in 2001.
Under this pilot project, the Medicaid program will contact health care providers and patients in the two counties to assist in collecting health information. Educational information will also be given to providers and members to help them take a more active role in their care. For example, Medicaid members may receive reminders about doctor appointments, blood sugar tests they need to check and other preventive measures.
In the second phase of the project, nurses from the Medicaid program will contact patients to see what progress they are making and determine what other help may be needed.
“One of the goals of our Medicaid Modernization project is to empower individuals with chronic diseases with the tools needed to better manage their care,” added Governor Fletcher. “By doing this, it will help Medicaid members avoid serious complications and hospitalizations.”
The Medicaid program’s two medical directors – Chief Medical Officer Dr. Thomas Badgett and Medical Director of Medicaid Services Dr. Steve Aaron – will oversee the project. The results will be studied and will provide a basis for a broader disease management project for Medicaid members across the state.
Disease management, improved technology and benefit management are the three parts of the Medicaid Modernization project. Medicaid is a $4.6 billion program that provides health care to 680,000 Kentuckians.