Penn State Hershey Health System has joined the Rite Aid Health Alliance initiative. The partnership was formally announced today by John Standley, Rite Aid chairman and CEO, and Harold L. Paz, M.D., M.S, CEO of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Health System, Penn State's senior vice president for health affairs and dean, Penn State College of Medicine.
Unveiled earlier this year, Rite Aid Health Alliance provides comprehensive care and support to individuals with chronic and poly-chronic health conditions and helps them achieve health improvement goals established by their physicians.
“In Central Pennsylvania and beyond, Penn State Hershey has long been known as one of the preeminent healthcare systems in the country, and like Rite Aid, they share our commitment to providing access to affordable and high-quality health care,” said Standley. “We are especially pleased to be working with their physicians to bring Rite Aid Health Alliance to patients in the Hershey and greater Harrisburg area. Together, we will help our patients manage their conditions and improve their overall health and wellbeing.”
Rite Aid's Health Alliance integrated care model is a first for the drugstore industry, because it uniquely leverages the combined expertise of community pharmacists, who are one of the most accessible and trusted resources among healthcare providers, along with specially trained in-store healthcare coaches. Penn State Hershey physicians can refer patients who they feel would benefit from additional coaching in areas such as medication management and meal and exercise planning. All members of the care team will communicate regularly with physicians in a true partnership to improve patients' overall health.
“Partnering with Rite Aid's Health Alliance program is another way in which Penn State Hershey can ensure our patients receive quality care in the most appropriate, cost-effective setting,” said Paz. “This program serves as an innovative example of how an academic medical center can work with other community healthcare providers to help patients with chronic conditions access a full range of resources to help them manage their health.”
Through Rite Aid Health Alliance, patients with chronic and poly-chronic conditions, like congestive heart failure, COPD, high cholesterol and diabetes, are recommended to the program by their primary care physician. Rite Aid pharmacists and specially trained care coaches, located in Rite Aid pharmacies, work with the physician and patient on an on-going basis to improve the patient's overall health and self-management abilities. The care team members collaborate with the patient to establish health goals, eliminate barriers and create a personalized health care action plan in coordination with the patient's physician.
The full range of services available to patients participating in Rite Aid Health Alliance includes medication compliance support; comprehensive medication reviews and reconciliation; nutrition and weight management information; disease education; exercise coaching and tobacco cessation support. Records of all interactions, which occur in Rite Aid pharmacies, as well as updates from the physician, are stored electronically, along with patient profiles including medications and lab results. This supports continuity of care and provides convenient access of information to other members of the patient's healthcare team.
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