LA PLATA (August 26, 2020)–University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center (UM CRMC) announced it has renewed an agreement with the Charles County Department of Health and the Charles County Government to continue operating the Charles County Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) Program for the next three years.
The MUIH Program is funded through a partnership between UM CRMC, the Charles County Department of Health and the Charles County Government to cover the cost of staff, medical equipment and supplies, telehealth equipment, and other supplies. The Maryland Department of Health is also contributing funds to this program through the MIH Telehealth Project Award.
The goal of the MIH program is to increase access to healthcare services for the medically underserved. Additional benefits of the program include preventing hospital readmissions, reducing overutilization of emergency and ambulance services, and increasing visits to primary care providers for routine care.
Since August 2017, the MIH team has delivered individualized health care to community members who need it most. Consisting of a local EMS paramedic, public health nurse, and a community health worker, the MIH team follows up with recently discharged patients to help solve any issues that may lead to overutilization of medical services. Patients are provided with community resources as well as self-monitoring tools such as blood pressure cuffs, medication organizers, and scales, if needed.
Patients eligible for this program are those deemed to be at high risk for readmission to the hospital, high utilizers of the emergency department and/or emergency services, and those with chronic conditions who may need health education and service referral to improve their overall health outcomes.
Since the start of this program, the MIH team has assisted 149 Charles County residents, which is well beyond the original goal of 60 participants for the first 3 years. Of the 130 participants included in data analysis, the MIH program reduced
- Emergency department visits by 61%,
- Inpatient hospital admissions by 65%
- 911 calls by 49%%,
- EMS utilization by 47%,
- 30-day readmissions by 73%.
Among those with hypertension and diabetes, over 80% saw an improvement in blood pressure and blood glucose levels, respectively, after enrollment in the program.
The Charles County MIH Program was recognized in July 2019 as a Model Practice by the National Association of City and County Health Officials, and received the 2018 Maryland Governor’s Customer Service Award. The team members were recognized in 2018 by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health as Community Stars on National Rural Health Day.
This program is free, voluntary, and operates under a patient-centered model to deliver personalized care coordination and help community members connect to needed healthcare services and better self-manage their health.