South San Francisco, CA February 28, 2017 Submitted by Joe Fragola, Kaiser Permanente
Investments help increase access to life-saving care
Kaiser Permanente announced $500,000 in grant to the San Mateo Medical Center (SMMC) to help increase access to care for people who are at greatest risk for heart attacks and strokes. The grants are part of a larger, $5.8 million investment aimed at expanding the reach and scope of the organization’s Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes Every day (PHASE) program, as well as additional resources to support training and technical assistance aimed at optimizing implementation of the program in community settings.
PHASE combines medications and lifestyle changes to provide an evidence-based, cost-effective treatment for people with existing heart disease and those at greatest risk for developing it, including individuals with diabetes who are ages 55 years and older. The heart healthy regimen has helped Kaiser Permanente reduce heart attacks and stroke-related hospital admissions among its own members by 60 percent since it began the program in 2002. Kaiser Permanente has been sharing the program with community health centers through a combination of grant funding, clinical expertise, and physician mentors since 2006.
“We are committed to reducing heart attacks and strokes for our members and those living in our communities,” says Dr. John Skerry, Physician-in-Chief, Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco. The success of our PHASE program in Kaiser Permanente has become a model for care both nationally and internationally. This grant will provide more people with greater access to care and help them lead a heart healthy lifestyle.”
Today, 112 clinic sites in Northern California, which includes 25 public hospital/health department clinics (representing 4 public hospital systems) and 87 clinic sites from 32 health centers (representing 4 consortia) are providing care to more than 120,000 patients with diabetes and hypertension.
The San Mateo Medical Center (SMMC) has participated in PHASE since 2008. SMMC will focus their efforts in three main areas: data analysis and application, team based care, and Behavioral Health integration, increasing depression screening and treatment. SMMC will also expand the integration of Behavioral Health staff from two clinics to five clinics over the next 36 months. SMMC will expand PHASE from 7,500 to 8,214 patients.
“Before the implementation of the PHASE program, patients with heart disease often needed many office visits and phone calls before getting the appropriate treatment,” said Marc Jaffe, M.D., an endocrinologist and internist at Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco. “With the PHASE program now in place, we are seeing tremendous results as Kaiser Permanente and its partners are making heart disease treatment more accessible, affordable, consistent, and convenient in the communities we serve.”