Something good besides Thomas Wolff comes out of Asheville:
A gold standard in health policy is finding ways to improve care, save money, and enlist patients in better managing their chronic conditions. And we have new evidence of the success of a program that is doing just that.
The Asheville Project began several years ago, enlisting local pharmacists to monitor and help manage the health of diabetes patients and coach them about using their medicines properly. In exchange for these regular visits, patients’ co-payments are waived for their diabetes medicines.
The results have been impressive: Patients’ health improved dramatically, and their employer — the City of Asheville, North Carolina — saved money. Direct medical costs fell up to $1,872 per patient per year, absences from sick time decreased, and productivity increased by up to $18,000 a year. The Asheville Project was expanded to help patients manage other chronic illnesses as well.