Health Care Innovation Awards: Project Profile


Project Title: "Regional integrated multi-disciplinary approach to prevent and treat chronic pain in North Carolina"
Geographic Reach: North Carolina
Funding Amount: $1,186,045
Estimated 3-Year Savings: $2,400,000


Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), serving 16 counties in western North Carolina, received an award to test team-based enhanced primary care for chronic pain patients. The project aims to improve patient outcomes and quality of care, increase community involvement and evidence-based clinical care training for providers, and reduce unintentional drug overdose rates. The test's target population consists of over 2,000 patients. Clinical services commenced at MAHEC Family Health Center in January 2013, and an additional three sites will launch after July 2013. The intervention creates multidisciplinary teams to provide enhanced primary care, using mid-level and behavioral health providers to co-manage care with physicians. To support the three year goal of adding 7.5 regional healthcare positions, sites receive funding, specialty training and onsite consultation. To reduce prescription drug overdose rates, community coalition leaders in all sixteen counties have been selected. The project's anticipated achievements are improved patient health and pain control, decreased outpatient visits, reduced unintentional drug overdose, and additional cost reductions of approximately $2.4 million.

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