Rare medical alliance boosts care in northwest metro

Allina community paramedic visits patient at home.

Allina Paramedic Diane Bauer met cardiac patient Ann Losness at Losness’ home to make sure she is OK back home and at low risk of going back to the hospital. Here, Bauer, right, checks Losness ankles for swelling during a home visit Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in Fridley, MN.

[Star Tribune, Nov. 7, 2017] Ann Losness didn’t want to go back to Mercy Hospital Unity Camps after a four-day stay for heart problems, and the hospital didn’t want her back either. They had gotten along fine — but return visits can be frustrating, expensive and ultimately preventable if hospitals adequately prep patients to go home the first time.

So they agreed that a paramedic would visit Losness at home in Fridley to make sure she was doing OK and taking her meds correctly.

Reducing hospital readmissions through paramedic visits is one of many strategies of the Northwest Metro Alliance, a partnership between two competitors — Allina and HealthPartners medical systems — that is so unusual that health care leaders around the country have a hard time believing it exists.

Read the full story online at startribune.com.

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