Penn State Hershey and Rite Aid partner on health counseling program
Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | 06.16.14
Patients at Penn State Hershey Medical Center can now get free help from Rite Aid through a pilot program, believed to be the first offering of its kind in the nation.
Through "Health Alliance", patients at Penn State Hershey can get professional advice through "coaches" at five Rite Aid pharmacies in the midstate, Hershey, Palmyra, Harrisburg, Middletown and Lebanon.
Photo by Ben Allen/witf
Penn State Hershey Medical Center CEO Harold Paz says the partnership will improve health care outcomes.
They'll develop meal and exercise plans, manage medications, and come up with clear health goals for those with chronic health conditions like high cholesterol or diabetes.
"We need to recognize that they have complex chronic diseases that require a long list of medications, require frequent visits, and anything we can do between their visits to the doctor to improve their health status is really the best for our patient," says Penn State Hershey CEO Dr. Harold Paz.
Meetings between coaches and patients happen between doctor’s visits, and could be face-to-face or over the phone.
"The more we get information to our patients, and from different venues, from different physicians, pharmacists and others involved in their care, the more likely it is that it'll have the impact that their doctor wants it to have on their overall disease management," says Dr. Paz.
The program is already in place in three areas across the country (High Point, North Carolina; Buffalo, New York; and Glendale, California) and has served about 1,500 patients so far.
But, Rite Aid has a duty to shareholders to make money.
CEO John Standley says it hopes through incentive programs offered by insurers, it can benefit.
"This kind of a program that gets patients healthier, reduce health care costs, and they get rewarded through higher recovery on their payments or through bonus payments, and our goal would be to share in that potential in the future."
Published in Healthcare Transformation