- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 15, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The article “Study finds bid to cut Medicare costs failed” (Nation, Thursday) mainly focuses on disappointing results that show how tough it is to manage older patients with chronic conditions, but it also shares Jim Reid’s success story. Mr. Reid credits his success in losing weight, improving his cholesterol and blood pressure and managing his pre-diabetes to the fact that his care was coordinated by nurses. The article refers to this as a “rare” success story, but the truth is that Americans all over the country are experiencing better health outcomes thanks to care coordination led by nurses.

For example, Mary D. Naylor of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing has developed effective ways to transition elderly patients from hospitals to their homes. Ms. Naylor’s evidence-based, innovative model of hospital-to-home care, in which advanced-practice nurses work to ensure a smooth transition, has repeatedly shown longer intervals before rehospitalizations and fewer rehospitalizations overall when compared to traditional methods of transition. Following a four-year trial with a group of elderly patients hospitalized with heart failure, the Advanced Nurse Practitioners (APN) Care Model cut hospitalization costs by more than $500,000 compared with a group receiving standard care - for an average savings of approximately $5,000 per Medicare patient.

PATRICIA FORD-ROEGNER

Chief executive officer

American Academy of Nursing

Washington

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