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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2005 May;16(2):286-96.

Adapting the chronic care model to treat chronic illness at a free medical clinic.

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Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


This pilot project was designed to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of an adaptation of the chronic care model applied to uninsured patients in a free medical clinic staffed by volunteer physicians. Of the 149 enrolled patients, 117 had hypertension, 91 had diabetes, and 51 had hyperlipidemia. Patients were enrolled in a chronic disease registry from March 1, 2001 through September 30, 2002 at the Salvation Army Free Clinic (SAFC). Two part-time registered nurses served as care managers providing disease-specific management using evidence-based guidelines. Consistent specialty consultation was available via phone, e-mail, or physician visit. Patient self-management was encouraged through collaborative goal setting. There were 40 patients lost to follow-up; 109 completed the study. A clinically significant improvement was obtained in at least one chronic disease for 79 patients. The chronic care model was a useful template for the delivery of effective chronic disease care to a group of uninsured patients at a free medical clinic.

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