Phoenix hospital offering personalized care for patients

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- While the nation waits for the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act, the medical community is still taking care of people with or without insurance.

One Valley hospital is helping patients take back control of their health.
Valley families put their trust in St. Joseph's Family Medicine Center -- a place taking care of all of their health needs. But the Family Medicine Center is also offering something unique. They started a pilot program called Medical Home.

The goal is to help patients with preventative care, which in turn will keep them out of the emergency room. Three thousand patients were enrolled through the Mercy Care Plan within AHCCCS.
“This used to be an 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. clinic, now it's an 8:20 a.m. to 8 p.m. clinic Monday through Friday and then 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday,” Dr. Sharry Veres said.

Veres is with the Family Medicine Center. In addition to extended hours, the program offers patients same-day appointments.
“I think some of these models are really teaching us that all of our patients here have better access to healthcare,” Veres said. “They have a team of doctors and nurses working on their behalf and at the end of the day, we have less emergency room visits, less hospital admissions and a cost savings.”

Since the start of the program more than a year ago, there has been a 12 percent reduction in the cost of emergency department visits as well as a 14 percent decrease in the costs of in-patient stays.
A sign Veres said proves programs like this do work.
“There will be talk about the new legislation and the Supreme Court ruling, but the actual way that people deliver care and the way people get around a table and say, hey, we need to do this better, that's lasting change,” Veres said.

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