The Kings Fund are working on co-ordinated care for people with complex chronic conditions (although it has an age-related focus).Using case-studies around the country, they are trying to what are effective strategies in improving the co-ordination of care for this subset of patients. They hope to promote and disseminate the lessons they learn.
The project is funded by the Aetna Foundation, who have already awarded grants in this area. Their previous work identifies care co-ordination as a key strategy to improve health outcomes and ultimately lower costs of health care delivery. In contrast to the KF project, some of their work focuses on adolescents, since this subset of patients receive care from a number of places, such as schools for example.
Care coordination is often defined as a patient-centered, interdisciplinary approach where all of a patient's needs are managed across providers and settings in an integrated, cost-effective manner. A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that primary care providers for Medicare patients typically share patient care for their caseload with 229 other physicians with whom they should coordinate care. (Source: Aetna foundation)
Watch this space for the outcomes of this project!