Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation and AmeriCares Free Clinics have launched a new AmeriCares Health Coach Program at the BI AmeriCares Free Clinic in Danbury.
BI Cares Foundation President Lilly Ackley says their goal is to help support uninsured patients with chronic disease. The bilingual registered nurses who will serve as the AmeriCares health coaches will be available for all weekday clinic sessions to work one-on-one with patients, equipping them with the knowledge to better manage chronic conditions, including diabetes and hypertension, and reach their health goals.
Ackley says the Health Coach position is not new in the medical field, but it is newer to the non-profit space.
Health coaching emerged to fill an information gap, following research that shows half of patients leave medical visits without understanding their provider’s advice. Officials say lack of adherence to medical advice is a significant problem in the U.S. and results in poor health outcomes for patients and significant burden on the healthcare system—as much as $300 billion annually from medication nonadherence alone.
The Health Coaches are fluent in both English and Spanish.
BI Cares Foundation has contributed $75,000 to the program to date and anticipates a total contribution of $150,000 for 2016.
Beyond providing financial support, the BI Cares Foundation wants to measure the clinical outcomes of having Health Coaches and overall clinic productivity. They will also be looking at patient and staff satisfaction. Ackley hopes to be able to then provide insight to other organizations working to improve health on the effectiveness of Health Coaches.