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Introduction and summary
Doris Jones is a 70-year-old senior ciizen wih muliple healh condiions, including dia-bees, high blood pressure, hear problems, and arhriis. Doris sruggles o manage hesechronic condiions, which are exacerbaed by her poor die, immobiliy, and he cos o her medicaions.Forunaely Doris receives her care a a very good primary care pracice ha boass avariey o healh care sysems in place o help coordinae all her healhcare needs. Tepracice has a specially rained nurse, called a “care coordinaor,” who makes sure Doris’weigh, blood pressure, blood glucose, and choleserol are rouinely measured, and adiabees educaor who gives Doris nuriion advice and helped her ge a new monioro check her blood sugar levels wih a large screen o accommodae her ailing eyesigh.Doris’s medical records are kep elecronically, which means ha all her regular bloodess and he MRI scan she’s had o assess her kidney uncion are shared wih all her doc-ors, eliminaing he need or each docor o order he same ess.All o hese poins o coordinaed care—regular checkups, healh advice, and care coordi-naion—keep Doris in conrol o her healh (see box). Bu criical o he naional debaeover healh care reorm, her coordinaed care saves her ime, ravel, and money. Medicarealso saves money because here are no duplicaed or unnecessary services.A key aim o healh care reorm is o bring beter qualiy and more aordable healh care oall Americans. Many people ear ha less expensive healh care means ewer services, bu inhealh care more is no always beter and someimes is acually worse.
Doris belongs o ahealh care sysem ha helps people say healhy hrough beter prevenive services, advice,and guidance on physical and menal well-being, and regular screenings and checkups. Tesysem also recognizes he diculy many older, chronically ill paiens may have in manag-ing heir reamen regimes, and provides assisance wih his. Doris’s primary care physi-cian, her oher docors and care providers, her hospial, and her communiy-based servicesare all conneced o ensure seamless care delivery and eecive communicaion.Te good news is ha Doris doesn’ live in a ye-o-be-realized ideal world. Remarkably,hese gold-sandard healh care pracice paterns no only deliver beter paien care andbeter healh oucomes, bu also have he poenial o save he U.S. healh care sysem bil-lions o dollars every year i hey become he models or healh care reorm naionwide.