MaineHealth gets grant to improve care of rural COPD patients

May 31, 2017

Portland — The MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization and the Chronic Disease Program at the MaineHealth Center for Health Improvement have announced that Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s Quality Grants Program has awarded the ACO a one-year, $88,000 grant to build the capacity of primary care providers to diagnose and manage patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD refers to two long-term diseases that cause breathing problems, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is the third-most-common cause of death in the United States.

The project will create online learning modules on diagnosing and managing COPD in the primary care setting, develop a guideline for care and referral, and pilot the use of telehealth to give patients in a rural region access to specialty pulmonary services. Primary care providers from Western Maine Health in Norway and specialists from Chest Medicine Associates in South Portland have agreed to participate in the telehealth pilot.

The development of every component of this project will involve both primary care providers and specialists. The MaineHealth Chronic Disease Program will provide day-to-day management with clinical, administrative and fiscal support from the MaineHealth ACO.

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