Life on a Rural Farm: Journey to Health

Life on a Rural Farm: Journey to Health

Nov 14 2017

When a Medicaid member had trouble managing her health challenges, the Priority Health care management team was there to help.

Life on a rural farm may sound stress-free to some, but for one Priority Health Medicaid member the rewards of simple living are overshadowed by the challenges of managing serious health conditions from a remote area.

Jane*, 62, suffers from a host of health problems stemming from diabetes. She is legally blind, lost her left leg and part of her right foot to amputation and received a kidney transplant. These conditions would be difficult for anyone to manage, but for Jane who lives alone on a rural farm in Reed City, Mich., daily life is a constant struggle.

“I don’t know what I did to deserve this help. No one has ever offered help like this.”

Earlier this year, Jane hit a breaking point and reached out to Priority Health’s care management team for help. Though hesitant and nervous, Jane knew something needed to give.

The first hurdle began with coordinating an appointment with a health care specialist in Grand Rapids. With her mobility limited to a wheelchair and unable to drive because of her vision impairment, Jane relies on transportation services to get her to and from health appointments. But this past spring, she expressed her concerns of getting dropped off at the curb and being unable to navigate from the curb to the office suite in Grand Rapids.

That’s where the Priority Health care management team stepped in.

A care manager quickly coordinated with Priority Health’s transportation department, the transportation company and the specialist’s office to develop a plan to ensure Jane’s safety. As a result, Jane’s experience was seamless and she made her appointment without any issues.

Over the next month, Jane and her care manager continued to work together to ensure her health was at its best. Jane was soon connected with a Priority Health community health worker who was able to check in with her on a consistent basis. The community health worker also assisted Jane at home and attended appointments with her to determine and manage any additional needs.

Accustomed to living alone and independent, Jane at first was leery of receiving any outside assistance. However, after the personalized care and coordination she received from the Priority Health team, she is truly grateful for all of the caregivers and services in her life.

“I don’t know what I did to deserve this help,” Jane said. “No one has ever offered help like this.”

Just like Jane’s care manager, Priority Health’s team of care managers help coordinate health care for members by:

  • Identifying patients for providers that require clinical support
  • Providing tools and resources about specific conditions
  • Communicating with members on the care and education offered to the patient
  • Notifying members of any needed tests, abnormal lab values or significant changes
  • Working directly with members to maintain a high quality of care

Providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place is a commitment that Priority Health’s care managers and community health workers put into practice each and every day.

*The member’s name has been changed to respect their privacy.