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Initiative helps N.Y. doctors follow up

  |   Feb. 1, 2010 at 8:54 PM
NEW YORK, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- New York has begun a program to help primary care physicians combat preventable health problems, city officials say.

"Instead of waiting for high-risk patients to seek treatment, the Panel Management program connects primary care doctors with New Yorkers who need ongoing care," Dr. Thomas Farley, health commissioner, said in a statement. "For example, of the 25 percent of New Yorkers who suffer from hypertension, less than half have their blood pressure controlled. Panel Management will help to address this gap."

PCIP has equipped more than 1,700 New York medical practices with electronic health records that highlight patients' health risks before they cause acute conditions such as heart attack or stroke, officials said.

"Small medical practices often don't have the resources to provide this kind of outreach. This initiative uses existing technology to cross that barrier," said Dr. Amanda Parsons, the assistant health commissioner who leads PCIP.

In 2006, there were more than 120,000 preventable hospitalizations among New York residents age 18 years and older -- hospitalizations that could have been avoided with appropriate treatment in a primary care setting -- Farley said.

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