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Chronic disease fight gets $18 million boost

By Melissa Stamm
August 2012

Vanderbilt University Medical Center and its affiliates have received preliminary notice of a three-year, $18.8 million grant to improve chronic disease management for patients with high blood pressure, heart failure and diabetes.

The Health Care Innovation Award from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is one of the largest federal research grants awarded to VUMC investigators. The funding will support the implementation and evaluation of MyHealthTeam (MHT), a model of team-based care that couples collaborative health care teams with health information technology in order to improve control of chronic conditions.

Specifically, the initiative aims to help patients improve control of their blood pressure and blood glucose, reduce hospital re-admissions, emergency room visits and reduce the cost of care.

The care management model is based on best practices from Vanderbilt Affiliate hospitals and the MyHealthTeam@Vanderbilt initiative. The new technologies to support care management are derived from a range of Vanderbilt clinical technologies that have been successfully applied across a spectrum of inpatient, outpatient and regional efforts designed to coordinate care.

Pioneering national studies and Vanderbilt experience show that better care management improves the health of patients with a range of chronic

These improvements translate into fewer serious complications, including heart attack and stroke and fewer trips to the clinic, hospital and emergency room. This, in turn, lowers clinic wait times and improves access for other patients in need of acute care.

The investigators estimate the project will result in health care savings of $38 million, including a savings of $27 million to CMS.

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