Anniversaries are often marked by a special surprise. For Sun Health Care Transitions, that surprise was doubly exciting. The team celebrated its second anniversary by receiving a second consecutive “Outstanding Leadership in Population Health Award” from the Care Continuum Alliance (CCA). Representing more than 200 health companies, organizations and individual providers committed to improving the health of populations, the CCA focuses on raising care quality, improving health outcomes and reducing costs for individuals affected by chronic disease.
Sun Health, together with Banner Health, was honored in the “Advancing Accountable Care” category for both organizations’ successful collaboration “…toward Community Health and Wellness.” Sun Health Vice President of Business Development Jennifer Drago, MHSA, MBA, FACHE and Banner Health Vice President for Patient Care Innovation Deborah H. Dahl, BSE, MBA, FACHE accepted the award during CCA’s national meeting, held Oct. 23-25 in Scottsdale.
“Sun Health Care Transitions is impacting the lives of thousands of patients and their families,” explained Ron Guziak, president and chief executive officer of Sun Health. “As one of 102 sites designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a Community-based Care Transitions Program, we are also demonstrating how to assist individuals to take control of their own health status.”
The award acknowledges the program’s impact on nearly 2,000 chronic disease patients, who are living healthier lives since the program launched in November 2011. Partnering with Banner Boswell Medical Center, Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, community physicians and other providers, Care Transitions nurses educate patients on how to better manage their disease and stay healthy. Ultimately, this support reduces their chances of being rehospitalized. Fewer than seven percent of patients participating in this free program have been readmitted, compared to a 20-percent national average among Medicare services beneficiaries.
This latest award is one in a series of recent recognitions at the local, regional and national levels. A study on the program also was recently published on the BMC Geriatrics website. The study showed that in addition to high levels of patient satisfaction with the Care Transitions program, participants’ confidence with self-care was significantly improved. Further, the program demonstrated a 73-percent reduction in readmissions and an actual Medicare cost savings during the nine-month period of $214,192, excluding administrative costs. The study can be found at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2318/13/94.