HealthConnect and CMMC Partner to Help Patients Return, Remain at Home

JACKSON, MS (April 9, 2012) - After determining patients have received adequate care and are ready to recover at home, one of Central Mississippi Medical Center’s top priorities is reducing the likelihood of an unnecessary re-admission to the hospital.

CMMC is the first hospital in Mississippi to implement HealthConnect, a comprehensive resource program that has already been successful in helping the hospital ensure patients are receiving adequate post-discharge care. The program leads to improved health outcomes and a reduction in complications occurring after patients are discharged to recover at home. The program has successfully helped all types of patients at CMMC -- regardless of age or insurance status.

Sponsored by Jackson Medical Mall, HealthConnect works with physicians to verify patients who require long-term treatment for a chronic condition have everything they need to manage their illness after being discharged from the hospital.

“The success of the Health Connect program is a reflection of the support and collaboration of the dedicated CMMC leadership team. We have been able to make a difference in the lives of patients served by CMMC by combining hospital and community resources to improve health outcomes and reduce costs to the Medicare and Medicaid program. Our continued success will undoubtedly assist the State, during these trying financial times, as our efforts equate to reduced costs to the Medicaid program through the reduction in health care costs,” said Dr. Aaron Shirley, Board Chairman, Jackson Medical Mall Foundation.

Lorie Ramsey, RN, MSN, Chief Nursing Executive for CMMC, said the multi-dimensional program is designed to cover all of a discharged patient’s needs. Having an added medical resource in the community is a vital component of each patient’s steady recovery, she said.

“HealthConnect is proving to be a valuable extension of the care we provide at CMMC on an inpatient basis,” Ramsey said. “The HealthConnect team includes a health coach led by an advanced practice nurse, registered nurse and a community health worker to support our patients after they leave the hospital. This comprehensive team consults with our doctors and makes home visits to make sure patients and their families have everything they may need in order to remain healthy after discharge. It is already making a noticeable difference in terms of the reduction of our readmissions.”

Ramsey said HealthConnect extends to a 50-mile radius from CMMC and covers patients in seven counties. The program targets Medicare, Medicaid and uninsured patients. Services received include:

  • A hospital visit to review home assistance needs before discharge
  • Nurse lead home visit after discharge
  • Help with communicating the patient’s needs directly to his/her doctor after the patient leaves the hospital
  • Nurse lead team that will act as an additional resource if the patient has questions about your follow-up plan
  • Assistance with applications for social service programs
  • Enrollment in emergency cell phone program (if eligible)
  • Help with getting discount and donated medication (if eligible)

Ramsey said being able to lead the way in reducing hospital readmissions is a factor of which the hospital is proud, especially due to its positive impact on the hospital’s patients.

“According to Medicare data, over half of readmitted patients in the U.S. receive no care or follow-up in the 30 days after hospitalization,” Ramsey said. “To now know our patients are not in this category is a source of great pride and relief. We have heard from many grateful families who have benefitted from knowing medical assistance is ready and waiting even before they arrive home from the hospital with their loved one.”

To learn more about CMMC’s involvement in HealthConnect or to find out how you or a family member can benefit, contact HealthConnect at (601) 372-1729 or visit their web site at www.medicalmallhs.com.