Keeping connections in a distanced world to transform chronic care

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By Jonathan Mayhew, Executive Vice President, Chief Transformation Officer, CVS Health

Four months ago, chronic care was one of the nation’s biggest health challenges, affecting more than half of all American adults and driving 90 percent of health care spending according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Four months ago, new tools for helping people better manage and even prevent chronic conditions were expanding our ability to reach people early and often, connecting them with our local care teams, local community resources and virtual capabilities to support everyday decisions between regular doctors’ visits. Whether individuals chose to seek support at home, at work, in the pharmacy, online, or through a combination of all these options – these increased connections and intervention in chronic care would help prevent emergency room visits and hospital readmissions, improve health outcomes and lower costs.

Today, I still believe increased support and connections are key to fighting chronic disease, which is still a top health care challenge. But our world is different in many ways than it was four months ago. We are managing and looking to recover from a grueling pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted minority and underserved populations. Many people with chronic conditions have already delayed care due to fear of contracting COVID-19 in a health care setting.  In the months ahead, stopping in at your local pharmacy or visiting a doctor may not sound as appealing as it once did. For some, it will be non-starter.

At CVS Health, we understand that. Still, it is critical for those suffering or at risk of chronic conditions to continue regular care. And our approach to helping individuals with chronic conditions, which includes innovative touchpoints and groundbreaking data analysis, reflects the evolving needs of our customers, including a new reality shaped by the pandemic.

Combining physical, digital and virtual for more support options

Our past and real-time experience tells us that, particularly during stressful times, individuals at home need expanded options for accessing support for everyday decisions related to diet and exercise as well as medical and behavioral health care. While we will continue to expand our brick-and-mortar HealthHUB® locations to provide in-person health and wellness care, pharmacy services and retail goods, we also are accelerating and expanding our digital presence and integrating new virtual capabilities into our care management programs.

Recently, we have expanded the ways customers can engage with a CVS pharmacist, MinuteClinic® clinicians, or HealthHUB concierges (where available) to receive services. So, while an individual may not travel to see her pharmacist – she can still speak live over the phone or engage through an app and, afterward, have her medications delivered to her home. Additionally, through expanding telehealth capabilities, many individuals can access doctors to address medical and behavioral health concerns. No matter their preference, individuals have an array of options to stay connected.

Within our care management and condition management programs, we are making sure that, in addition to traditional telephone support, care managers can provide support using telehealth services and, when it is deemed safe to do so, still visit with individuals in their homes.  

Data is the game changer

Data will make these options even more effective. In the past, when the topic of data and analytics was raised related to care or condition management, it typically meant relying on claims data exclusively. Today, CVS Health is not only able to bring together a broader set of data from prescription claims and medical claims, but we also combine that data with lab results, electronic health record data and information from medical devices and wearables where permitted. As we’ve seen in Korea and multiple other countries, along with some efforts in the U.S. to track COVID-19, this approach provides a much more comprehensive understanding of what is happening with an individual and within a community. And because we are able to aggregate and analyze this data in real time, the insights we can generate for care managers, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and doctors (as part of referrals and ongoing care coordination) are actionable and make health care simpler for individuals. This kind of data fuels our Pharmacist Panel program which notifies our pharmacists of potential gaps in care or preventive care opportunities based on medical, pharmacy and lab data. This expanded view makes it even easier for pharmacists to proactively engage members in relevant, impactful and timely one-on-one conversations about how best to manage their chronic conditions. And this outreach is delivered through member-preferred channels like text, email or telephone.

Moving to a comprehensive approach to condition management

Unmatched data and multiple connection capabilities allow CVS Health to break away from the one-size-fits-all approach to chronic condition management. For example, most diabetes management programs today focus on just two modes of support -- monitoring blood glucose and managing issues of lifestyle and comorbidities – mostly through virtual reporting and telephone coaching.

Our comprehensive approach to diabetes care for Aetna members and CVS Caremark customers focuses on three additional areas for a total of five impact areas. In addition to monitoring blood glucose and managing lifestyle issues, we aim to ensure individuals also are receiving the recommended annual health screenings, adhering to medications and taking the right medications to manage their diabetes and any other conditions. Whether an individual is seen by a CVS pharmacist, a care manager, or MinuteClinic nurse practitioner online or in person, each will have an integrated view of the individual’s health needs in these five clinical impact areas. They will all be on the same page regarding medications, test results and care plans. This not only leads to more effective management of diabetes and other chronic conditions but also reduces the frustration patients often experience when care is disconnected and uncoordinated.

Taken together, improved interactions and data-fueled insights paint a picture of complete end-to-end condition management with many options for engagement and support. That is what is needed to improve our standard of care for diabetes and other chronic conditions. With integrated care teams, digital and virtual solutions and data technologies, we can stay connected to more people, on their terms and comfort levels, and help them to more successfully manage their chronic health conditions today and well into the future.

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A new homecoming for health care

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Pain management, antibiotics for an infection, hydration and nutrition support — these are just a few examples of why a person might require infusion therapy. 

For patients like Brittany Detrick, 27, a paralyzed gastrointestinal tract requires her to use a feeding tube along with a port in her chest to receive IV antibiotics and hydration, making infusions just another part of her daily routine. 

“I'm hooked up to a pump all the time,” she says. “I have IVs and tube feedings in a backpack that I wear, and it’s kind of my normal life.” 

Now, in response to the pandemic, Coram, CVS Health’s infusion care business, is expanding its mission to care for more infusion patients like Brittany at home – all while helping hospitals prioritize and maintain bed capacity for those infected with COVID-19.

Coram heeded the call for help early on. “As coronavirus struck, we were hearing from our hospital partners that they were concerned about freeing up hospital beds so that they could care for the many patients who would contract COVID-19,” says Tricia Lacavich, RN BSN, Coram Vice President and General Manager. We asked, ‘How can we help?’”

The approach they took is threefold, Lacavich says: First, get patients out of the hospital and home safely. Second, prevent future patients from being admitted to the hospital unnecessarily. Third, she says, make sure that outpatients who receive long-term infusions in the hospital get those treatments at home. 

Much of this is what Coram normally does, but COVID-19 created a new layer of urgency to get and keep patients out of the hospital in a safe and timely way, Lacavich says. That meant more home visits from nurses and increased support for virtual visits through telehealth.

Today, Coram is scaling its mission nationwide, starting in markets with high rates of COVID-19 cases. Its model of home-based health care may become more common even after the pandemic, as more people learn what can be managed at home. 

Brittany credits Coram's care for keeping her out of the hospital even when she contracted COVID-19 herself – experiencing mild symptoms and recovering at home, instead. That was crucial, because of her compromised immune system. 

“When someone like me goes into the hospital, there’s not just fear of catching COVID, but fear of catching everything else there, too,” she says. “Being able to stay home is always the best thing I can possibly do.”

Tricia Lacavich
When Coronavirus happened, Tricia Lacavich, Coram Vice President and General Manager asked, “How can we help?”
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New research at ASCO 2020 reinforces the value of CVS Health offerings

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Identifying unaddressed challenges to better ensure quality, cost and access

We believe that in order to improve the health care quadruple aim — better quality, lower cost, and improvements in both patient and provider experience — the important first step is identifying the unaddressed challenges. This helps build a framework for developing strategies and solutions that address the areas of need. While treatments themselves are incredibly important, research that helps identify such gaps is critical, because it enables us to ensure clinically appropriate access and services to improve health outcomes for patients, and to develop comprehensive solutions that help payors manage costs.

Each year, the oncology community comes together at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) annual meeting to unveil the latest research in cancer care. While the meeting is most known for debuting breaking advancements in cancer treatments, the data presented goes far beyond. At this year’s meeting, we will be presenting data reinforcing the importance of innovative specialty management in cancer care. Here, we share some of the highlights:

Digital engagement helps support patient adherence

It is not uncommon for a patient on specialty medications — especially when they first begin treatment — to experience unpleasant side-effects. Treatment non-adherence as a result of that is all too common, and an ongoing challenge for patients and health care providers. Secure messaging has been shown to improve medication adherence in patients. In one abstract presented at ASCO, we examine how digital engagement in the form of secure two-way messaging from a nurse helped improve patient adherence to an oral chemotherapy known for significant adverse side-effects. Our research found that using CVS Specialty’s secure messaging platform to determine whether patients were experiencing common medication side effects enabled nurses to get involved quickly, leading to an improvement in patients’ symptoms and adherence to therapy. Secure two-way messaging is one of the digital and online engagement tools CVS Specialty uses to help patients better manage their conditions.

Precision treatment: Better outcomes, more cost-effective care

Unfortunately, lung cancer patients are frequently diagnosed late with advanced or metastatic disease. However, it’s been shown that targeted therapies can increase survival when compared to conventional treatments. Broad gene sequencing tests help support use of targeted therapies by identifying the best treatment for a specific patient. A CVS Health analysis found that by identifying the broader genomic landscape of a patient’s tumor early on, doctors armed with this information make timely and precise treatment decisions, which ultimately can lead to better outcomes and are more cost effective. The findings are an example of the types of analytics CVS Health is evaluating consistently to inform programs focused on transforming the oncology experience for patients and their support teams.

The challenge to increasing biosimilar prescribing

Biosimilars are the fastest-growing class of therapeutic products in the United States. Despite the availability and proven efficacy and safety of biosimilars, their uptake has been slow. This is, in part, due to patent litigation and pay-for-delay strategies by brand manufacturers that often delay the launch of many of these products, even after they’ve been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As part of the research we are presenting, we surveyed oncologists to evaluate their willingness to prescribe biosimilars. While those surveyed deemed biosimilars to be safe and effective, physicians reported there were still certain factors that affected their willingness to prescribe. Given the potential of biosimilars to create competition and therefore lower cost, we continually monitor the pipeline to optimize the use of lower cost therapies and expand our value-based provider contracts in order to help improve patient access. 

Data can improve patient care journey, payor and provider tools

We will also be presenting data from Novologix, CVS Health’s proprietary technology platform, which demonstrated that by engaging oncology practices through an enhanced payor-provider partnership and training providers on the prior authorization tool, we can help facilitate higher-quality oncology care. As part of another study, we surveyed patients on their cancer treatment history and care experience, as well as how they worked with their health care providers. We also surveyed health care providers for information on their practice, their referral process for their patients to an oncologist, and how they engage with their patients. There were two key findings. First, there is a compelling opportunity to develop a data-driven oncologist selection tool that helps primary care providers direct their patients to high-quality and low-cost oncologists. Second, it is important for providers to initiate the conversation around an advanced directive at the start of a patient’s cancer care in order to help those close to the patient fully understand their desires for end-of-life care.

This research is part of our ongoing focus on helping transform the health care experience for all patients while addressing challenges of oncology management for payors.

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During Nurses Month, we salute the vital work that nurses do every day

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This year, on the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, National Nurses Month is celebrating the dedication of nurses in every interaction, every setting, every era, every day. Throughout May, CVS Health is also recognizing the thousands of nurses who work across our enterprise in this time of extraordinary challenge.

In honor of Nurses Month and in recognition of the vital work of nursing, CVS Health is making a $40,000 donation to Direct Relief to deliver protective gear and critical care medications to as many health care workers as possible.

Today, many nurses are found on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Others are contributing their expertise, experience and compassion behind the scenes. This includes some 10,000 nurses, nurse practitioners, LVNs and LPNs working for Aetna, MinuteClinic, CVS Caremark and Omnicare. All have been doing amazing work since COVID-19 began, including volunteering to oversee rapid testing in various areas or embracing new ways to treat patients during social distancing.

Sheryl Burke, Aetna Senior Vice President of Cross-Enterprise Strategic Innovation, recently praised nurses by saying, “You care for our customers and members like your own family through teaching, advocacy, listening and action. Your efforts have been nothing short of extraordinary and are well-deserving of our sincere gratitude.”

To learn more about the extraordinary work being done by our CVS Health nursing professionals, take a look at our Friday Pulse video recognizing Nurses Month. And please join us in celebrating nurses!

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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Coram nurses rise to the challenge during COVID-19 pandemic

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A global pandemic cannot stop Coram nurses from doing what they do best: providing critical patient care in the home or at one of our ambulatory infusion suites, helping patients avoid and prevent hospital stays, giving them the autonomy to administer their own medications, and providing emotional support. Infusion nurses not only provide important nursing care, they support, educate and reassure patients and caregivers who may be scared, anxious, and overwhelmed — something increasingly common during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This National Nurses Month, we're proud to feature a few of our over 1,000 Coram nurses here.

Jeannie Collazo-Torres

Jeanette (Jeannie) Collazo-Torres

Jeanette (Jeannie) Collazo-Torres understands what it takes to support patients with complex conditions requiring IV-therapy — a former Coram nurse, she now works for CVS Specialty focusing on pulmonary arterial hypertension, and is also supporting the Coram team during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though she is familiar with administering and educating patients about complex therapies (called ‘teaches’), Jeannie notes that new safety guidelines, personal protective equipment (PPE), and social distancing have made patient care more complicated. "We wear the full equipment: N95 masks, gowns, gloves, and goggles," Jeannie explains. "We talk with the patients, but we can't be close to them and it can be harder to provide emotional support."

Jeannie recently met with a COVID-19 patient who had been discharged from the hospital. She could see that both the patient and family members were scared. "It can be intense and scary for patients and families, but I try to come in and set everyone's minds at ease. As a nurse I have to sense what is needed." Sometimes that's a sense of humor, she explains, and sometimes it's someone to talk to or pray with.

Martha Silverspring

Martha Silverspring

A nurse for over 35 years, Martha Silverspring has been working in IV home care since 1992. She enjoys home care nursing because every day is different, and she loves people and the relationships she has built over the years. "In IV home care nursing, you work toward a common goal, and nothing breaks down barriers like working together towards a common goal."

Her home visits may look a little different during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Martha credits Coram and CVS Health for helping her continue doing her job while staying safe. "I keep hearing about shortages of PPE elsewhere, but we've had access to what we needed from the beginning."

Chris Keller

Chris Keller

Nurse manager Chris Keller loves the challenge he describes as "air traffic control" — coordinating arrival of a delivered medication from the branch to the patient, ensuring a nurse trained in administering the specific medication can be at the patient's home after delivery, etc. "It's a lot of logistics and juggling, but I have a fantastic team of support that helps get it all done."

Chris and his team were recently put to the test when a cruise ship with several COVID-19 patients onboard arrived in his hometown of San Diego. Coram was asked to help hospital patients who needed to be discharged quickly to make room for the quarantined passengers, and Chris and his team jumped right in. "Everyone stepped up. I'm fortunate to oversee an excellent team of nurses who said 'let's do it.' We got PPE equipment delivered to our branch, packaged it up, mailed to our nurses’ homes by the next day."

Jeannie, Martha and Chris are just a few of the dedicated Coram nurses providing exceptional care and support during this unprecedented time. We thank all of our Coram nurses for their courage and commitment to helping patients get and stay well.

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National Nurses Month: Spotlight on Accordant nurses

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People with rare diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, cystic fibrosis, and certain types of cancers, often require complex care and treatment regimens.

Now, they’re managing these conditions during a global pandemic.

AccordantCare, the CVS Health care management program for those with rare conditions, provides members with dedicated nurses who check in regularly by phone and nurse teams who are available around the clock. During COVID-19, they're providing more than standard care management support for members’ conditions — they are helping members adjust to new routines and challenges.

This National Nurses month, we’re proud to feature a few of our approximately 400 Accordant nurses here.

Phillip Ellison, RN, BSN

Phillip Ellison, RN, BSN

"We work with one of the most vulnerable populations when it comes to infections because their immune systems are compromised," says Philip Ellison, an oncology case manager. Many doctors have switched patients from facility-based IV cancer treatments to oral medications so they can remain at home as much as possible. While this reduces the risk of infection, it means a new medication regimen and new side effects at a time when doctors can be less accessible. With an Accordant nurse team to call, members get their care management questions answered any time of day or night. 

Phillip and other case managers also reach out periodically to the members they support. "This population is often already isolated, but now even more so. Having case managers who telephonically reach out to them is more important than ever." One such member, living in a rural area with no internet access, first heard about the novel Coronavirus from Phillip's call. He was able to educate her on the virus's impact and importance of wearing a face covering for her lab visits.

Wendy Golob, RN, BSN

Wendy Golob, RN, BSN

Wendy Golob, a case manager, emphasizes Accordant’s whole-person approach to member support, assessing members' support systems, transportation access, and ability to take part in daily activities such as cooking and dressing in addition to medical needs. During COVID-19, this means community resources, grocery delivery services, and scheduling appointments with their doctors over the phone when needed.  

One member Wendy supports was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with COVID-19 and diabetes. He was given several discharge instructions as well as a strict diet regimen. Due to visitor restrictions, his caregiver was unable to have her questions answered by hospital staff. Wendy quickly scheduled a conference call to go over the instructions in detail, alleviating the caregiver’s concerns and empowering her to provide care with these new diagnoses. "She was so thankful for having that discussion," Wendy says.

Makayla Rhoades, RN

Makayla Rhoades, RN

Makayla Rhoades, a health management nurse, says many members call for help sorting through information they've heard from various sources, turning to the Accordant team for best practices and advice on symptoms that warrant medical attention. Makayla was an advocate for one of her members taking hydroxychloroquine for Lupus when the drug was being sought as a possible COVID-19 treatment. With all of her local pharmacies out of stock, Makayla helped a member locate an in-network mail order pharmacy to get her medication delivered on time.

Another member, feeling distressed after a hospital visit, sought Makayla's emotional support and assistance scheduling a telehealth visit with his primary care physician. "You do what you can to assist with their needs and have a positive impact on their health and life overall. It's those relationships that bring you to work every day," she says.

Melissa Gomez, RN, BSN, CCM

In her role as a health management nurse, Melissa Gomez translates health information for her Spanish-speaking members. Many of her members use interpreters and translators, but often don't like relaying personal medical concerns to a third party. Even going online, Melissa explains, is difficult when only a fraction of reputable health sites post content in languages other than English.  

One challenge Melissa highlighted is transportation access. During COVID-19, this means educating members, who are often immunocompromised, on CDC guidance to safely utilize public transportation and avoid infection. “When I get on the phone with my members, I envision what's going on, we talk about the issues, and we problem-solve together, says Melissa, "we have little moments of success with every member."  

During this challenging, uncertain, and unprecedented time, we thank all of our Accordant nurses for their resilience and dedication to making sure members receive the best possible care.

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CVS Health works with Piedmont Healthcare to help create hospital bed capacity in Georgia

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Coram, the infusion care business of CVS Health, expands strategy to help transition eligible IV-therapy patients from hospitals to in-home nursing in Georgia during the pandemic

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is working with Piedmont Healthcare in Georgia to support their solutions for increasing hospital bed capacity. This expands a recently launched strategy of Coram, the company’s infusion care business, to help transition eligible IV-therapy patients to home-based nursing care in response to COVID-19. Specifically, Coram has enhanced its clinical monitoring, virtual support and oversight through telehealth to complement existing personalized in-home support, coordination and administration of medications and supplies. In states like Georgia, ensuring the ability of hospital and health systems to handle potential surges of COVID-19 patients has become a critical factor in assessing stay-at-home orders and reopening local economies.https://gov.georgia.gov/press-releases/2020-04-20/gov-kemp-updates-georgians-covid-19

“Coram can deliver a clinically appropriate in-home care setting, which can be the safest place for patients recovering from a range of illnesses during this time by helping to minimize their risk of contracting COVID-19,” said Sree Chaguturu, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark and CVS Specialty. “Our Coram model allows us to deploy clinical teams where the need is greatest, and we are shifting resources to support Piedmont Healthcare as a critical part of their solution to build and maintain hospital bed capacity for treating the critically ill impacted by the virus.”

Coram is working with Piedmont Healthcare to identify and begin transitioning stable patients to home-based nursing care. Patients with a range of conditions that may require infusion therapy, including hydration and nutritional support, anti-infectives and/or specialty medications for chronic condition management, will be considered. Once home, Coram’s specialized nurses will provide and coordinate a range of care, including daily visits and monitoring, medication administration, IV catheter line care, lab draws and educational support via telehealth. Coram is scaling this approach nationwide in other markets with high rates of COVID-19 cases, and working with home health agencies to enable care for patients with high acuity needs that may require additional clinical oversight and monitoring.

“During these extraordinary and unprecedented times, we remain focused on serving Georgians’ health care needs and have implemented a number of strategies that enable continuity of care for our patients and communities,” Robert Miller, M.D., Medical Director of Wound Care and Hyperbarics, Chair of the Board Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. “Together, with companies like CVS Health, we can employ innovative solutions that create the additional care capacity we need to help Georgians get through this.”

More information on the steps that CVS Health is taking to address the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the company’s frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

About CVS Health 

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company in the world. We're evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that's in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings – from HealthHUB® locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions – are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we're transforming health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media contact

Christina Beckerman
CVS Health
401-479-6570
christina.beckerman@cvshealth.com

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Coram Nurses Help Teen Bike across the Country

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Andrew leaving Boston for his cross-country bike trip.
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Coram nurse Melissa Rupert infuses Andrew in Oklahoma City during his trip.

Coram, a CVS specialty business, provides high-quality infusion and tube-feeding care to patients where they live, work and travel. So when 17-year-old Andrew had an opportunity to go on a six-week cycling, cross-country adventure this past summer, his parents knew the Coram nursing team could help.

Andrew has Gaucher disease and receives enzyme replacement home infusions every 2 to 3 weeks. His trip would leave from Massachusetts in June and not return until early August, so he would require infusions along the route. His parents and medical team mapped out the trip and planned for infusions in Oklahoma City and Santa Monica, CA.

Coram nurses worked with Andrew’s primary care team at Boston’s Children’s Hospital to secure connections in the other states who would be willing to help. He needed an in-state physician to write the nursing orders, and a Coram nurse to meet him at a hotel for the infusion. The Coram Oklahoma City and Los Angeles branches ensured Andrew received the specialized care he needed.

Gaucher disease is a rare genetic enzyme deficiency disorder that affects 10,000 to 20,000 Americans, and can largely be controlled with enzyme replacement. Patients experience anemia, low platelet counts, severely enlarged liver and spleen, and bone disease.

Coram’s Vast Nurse Network

“The benefit of working with Coram is that we have more than 38 years of experience providing infusion services to patients,” said Julie Scaramuzzi, Nurse Manager, Infusion. “We meet patients where they are, and Coram has 73 ambulatory infusion suites across the country. Our team helps patients prepare the paperwork to bring liquids through airport security, and secure a nurse and location for the treatment,” she said. Coram has more than 2,000 clinicians who provide care to nearly 200,000 patients annually for a range of complex conditions including immune deficiencies, neurological disorders, digestive diseases and serious infections.

Andrew’s mom, Heidi, connected with Coram to pick up the medication near her home, and with the paperwork in order, boarded planes to Oklahoma and California. She met Andrew and the nurses in the hotels, and Andrew successfully received his treatments on the road. He was able to stay with his biking group for the entire trip.

Julie said “Andrew proves that patients who home-infuse are no longer home-bound. Our team works with many patients who travel for business or even just to see family for the holidays. Our network of nurses is vast and we are able to meet patients where they are, when they need their treatment.”

The Accordant Team Approach for Gaucher Patients

In addition to care from Coram clinicians and nurses, Accordant offers support for members with rare conditions, such as Gaucher disease, through targeted interventions designed to meet each patient’s unique needs.

“The specialized care team is composed of registered nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and a medical director – all backed by a medical advisory board,” Ahmed F. Hassan, Vice President and General Manager, Accordant. “These skilled practitioners set mutually agreed-upon health goals with the patient, discuss symptom management, explain proper use of medications, and even deal with resource issues such as lack of transportation to doctors’ appointments or cost of care.”

The more than 30 physicians on Accordant’s medical advisory board are available to the Accordant team to discuss complex situations and offer insights into care approaches that the nurse may use in supporting the patient. And, all of the team’s care is grounded in the latest evidence-based medicine and clinical guidelines.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter

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Accordant: Holistic Support for Patients with Complex Conditions

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Managing rare or complex conditions can often be challenging for patients. They can feel overwhelmed by the condition, medication side effects, complex dosage instructions, comorbidities, complicated provider directions, and experience challenges trying to navigate the health care system.

Health plans and employers, can adopt and offer our Accordant program for their plan members. Accordant provides holistic support for patients with rare conditions through targeted interventions designed to meet each patient’s unique needs.

The specialized care team is composed of registered nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and a medical director – all backed by a medical advisory board. These skilled practitioners set mutually agreed-upon health goals with the patient, discuss symptom management, explain proper use of medications, and even deal with resource issues such as lack of transportation to doctors’ appointments or cost of care. In addition, social workers help patients with community resources such as negotiating utility bill payments, identifying support groups, and grants for home modifications.

In a recent Blue Cross Blue Shield blog post, Accordant Medical Director Dr. Andrew Krueger discusses the importance of comprehensive care management services for patients with complex conditions such as multiple sclerosis and the difference this kind of care can make.

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