Taking chronic care management to the road

A new program from a Rochester, MI-based health management company has taken chronic disease management to the road. The company, Medical Network One, has developed a "Chronic Care Travel Team," an 18-member group of clinicians touching on all the bases needed to manage common chronic conditions. Assembling the group cost $1.5 million, but the cost is covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Even at that price, Medical Network One expects the team to eventually save money on chronic care, as they think they can help patients avoid more serious complications that often come as a chronic disease progresses.

How does the program work, in practice? Participating physicians--which include registered nurses, dieticians, diabetes educators, exercise physiologists and mental health specialists--visit Medical Network One primary care offices in the state's Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties, counseling patients on chronic conditions like asthma, chronic depression, heart disease, lung disease or diabetes. Patients schedule in advance to see the team members, who map out plans that overlap well with the primary care physician's advice and treatment strategy. About 18 PCP offices affiliated with Medical Network One have joined the travel team program.

To get more information on the program:
- read this Oakland Business Review article