When a 73-year-old member of VNSNY CHOICE’s Medicaid Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plan was diagnosed with COVID-19 in his local emergency department, the physicians chose to send him back home rather than admit him. It was a decision based largely on the support he had in place there, which included his wife and daughter, a VNSNY visiting nurse, and Partners in Care home health aides (HHA), all delivering care under the watchful supervision of the CHOICE MLTC care management team.
Once home, the member’s CHOICE nurse care manager, Marie Ledain, arranged to keep critical HHA services in place in order to provide the member with help in bathing, meal preparation and other activities of daily living. Marie also advised the member’s wife and daughter on how they could protect themselves from COVID-19 exposure.
“As care managers, we are committed and dedicated to our members,” Marie explains. “During this pandemic, our first priority has been keeping our members and their families safe with education, emotional support, and by making sure they have all the services required to keep them safe at home.”
“As a plan, we understand the challenges that everyone is going through,” adds Care Coordinator Lead Manager Grace McGhee, who supervises care managers for VNSNY CHOICE MLTC. “Our goal is to keep everyone safe.”
At the same time, Marie teamed up with David Smith, a social worker and clinical support manager with CHOICE MLTC, to make sure that appointments with the member’s visiting physician practice were made and kept, and that the member’s prescribed antibiotic and pain management medications were being taken appropriately.
With the HHAs, the VNSNY nurse and the family all providing ongoing updates to Marie and David, the patient continued to recover safely at home with no subsequent hospitalizations. In July, he was officially removed from the list of COVID-19 patients.
“If ever there was a time and case where a coordinated response was required, this was it,” notes David. “We couldn’t have achieved the outcome we did without all parties maintaining a high level of engagement with one another until the worst was over.”
“Our care managers are the liaisons, ensuring that each plan member’s care is coordinated and that everybody is on the same page,” says Grace. “Collaboration and communication are the keys. We know this is a scary situation for everyone, and we never forget that everyone is a human being with their own needs and concerns.”
To read more VNSNY Heroes of 2020 stories, click here.