Becky Luethy, Operational Development Director for MHM Services; Krissy Ziegler, Vice President for Strategy and Business Development at Envolve; and Cheryl Word, Director for Analytics and Client Services at Envolve join Lorry to talk about correctional nurse support services and a lifestyle management program for incarcerated patients. This discussion is based on their presentation “Lessons from Managed Medicaid on Use of Telephonic Nurse Advice Lines and Lifestyle Management Programs in Corrections” taking place at the 2016 Spring Conference on Correctional Health Care in Nashville, TN, April 9-12. Learn more about the conference and register HERE.
Many correctional patients are on Medicaid or are Medicaid-eligible. Out in the community Managed-Care Organizations (MCO) provide over 80% of services under Medicaid through a grant process. Since the Medicaid population in the community is benefitting from telehealth nurse support and lifestyle management programs, why not extend these successful programs to the incarcerated? That is just what MHM and Envolve did in this innovative project. Their results are impressive.
Nurse Advice for Urgent Care
Managed Medicaid has used nurse advice lines to reduce emergency room visits in the community for some time. How would this work in correctional health care? One way is an advice line that provides direct communication with a nurse in settings that do not have after-hours health care staff. Officers or administrative staff are able to discuss an inmate health concern with a nurse by phone to determine if the condition needs immediate attention at an emergency room or the patient can await evaluation by an onsite clinician when they return to the facility.
Lifestyle Management for Chronic Diseases
Lifestyle management has also been a part of community Medicaid health management for some time. In the ‘correctionalized’ version of this program, outside lifestyle coaches and specialists use distance technologies to work with correctional staff and incarcerated patients to overcome chronic disease lifestyle management concerns such as diet and exercise challenges. Motivational techniques are incorporated into the program to improve patient self-management successes.
Outcomes Look Promising
So far MHM/Envolve are seeing positive results in their pilot state prison system. A1C levels of diabetics in the lifestyle management program have an average drop of 2 points. Ninety percent of participants met exercise goals and 23% lost weight or improved BMI. More than half of hypertensive participants met their blood pressure goals while in the program.
What do you think? Would nurse support and lifestyle management program work in your system? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
This podcast is part of a series discussing topics addressed during sessions of the 2016 Spring Conference on Correctional Health Care. All posts in this series can be found HERE.