Medical Home program will continue

A federally-funded experimental program in regional collaboration between health care providers and insurance companies has been extended through the end of 2016, Adirondack Health Institute announced.

Extension of the five-year-old Adirondack Medical Home program, which originally was to end Dec. 31, 2014, will bring an estimated $1.68 million in additional federal funding to the program, said Barbara Iverson, a spokeswoman for Adirondack Health Institute, a regional health care planning agency based in Glens Falls.

The program involves hospitals in Plattsburgh, Saranac Lake, Elizabethtown, Ticonderoga and Glens Falls, and health centers in the areas those hospitals serve.

The goal of the program is to reduce overall health care costs by redirecting non-critical patients from hospital emergency rooms to health centers, and using care managers to encourage patients to get preventative care so patients are hospitalized less often and follow-up care so fewer patients are readmitted to a hospital after an illness.

The concept of the “medical home” hearkens back to the days of having a family doctor who tended to virtually all of a family’s medical needs.

Under the medical home, each patient is assigned a primary care physician, who works with a team to coordinate care to take place in the most appropriate setting.


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