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Bassett Medical Center empowers patients to self-manage their health

Providing health resources and education to communities helps patients be active and take charge of their own health and wellbeing. This focus on health in everyday life can help decrease risk of chronic disease and bring healthcare costs down for patients and providers. In 2018, Bassett Medical Center created the Living Well program to deliver accessible health management education to the community.

Bassett Medical Center’s Living Well program is a collaborative and systematic community-clinical approach to delivering evidence-based, self-management workshops. The Living Well program has established community-clinical linkages that connect patients and caregivers to the workshops. The program is developing a sustainable infrastructure for widely accessible, readily available self-management interventions linked to the clinical setting. Living Well addresses New York state Prevention Agenda focus area, “Increase Access to High Quality Chronic Disease Preventive Care and Management in Both Clinic and Community Settings.”

To achieve program success, Bassett identified and supported project champions within the medical system and in the community. They used multiple strategies for community outreach, including social media, and different methods of registering for workshops (online, in person, phone).

The suite of programs is embedded into Bassett's standard of care. Staff are working with hospital, community and state stakeholders to integrate the diabetes self-management program into the reimbursable framework of diabetes self-management education. In addition, Bassett will present its data to local insurers and other payers and advocate for the self-management programs to become reimbursable.

For individuals completing the diabetes self-management program, pre- and post-program measures showed a significant decrease in the Diabetes Distress Scale score and participants in the high-distress category (16.9% to 7.8%). For participants (in the first two years of the program) with diabetes and a pre-program A1c > 9%, the most recent follow-up A1c in the medical record (at least three months post program completion) was below 9% for 53% of these participants and lower than baseline (though still above 9%) for 18%. For the 191 participants who completed the chronic pain self-management program, the pre-post comparison of those expressing uncertainty about self-efficacy showed improvement for each statement (average percentage of uncertain went from 41.3% to 23.3%).

For more information, contact Lynae Wyckoff, Living Well Program Manager, at lynae.wyckoff@bassett.org or (607) 547-3360.