Enhanced Care Planning for Patients With Multiple Chronic Conditions

Overview

Patients with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) have a range of needs that extend beyond traditional medical care, including behavioral, mental health, and social needs. While primary care does its best to address these needs, few practices can undertake a systematic approach without broader health system and coordinated community support. Fortunately, communities and health systems are investing in new models of care to address these needs. New tools are emerging that allow for enhanced care planning to identify and prioritize patients' needs based on their values, preferences, social, and clinical context. Additionally, support systems to promote partnerships between patients and clinical and community care teams are emerging. Building on work occurring as part of the Richmond Accountable Health Community, the investigators propose to (a) evaluate the implementation of an enhanced care planning approach, paired with community-clinical linkages support to address health behavior, mental health, and social needs; (b) determine within a randomized controlled trial the benefit of this approach compared to usual care; and (c) assess which person, family, community, and system contextual factors that influence MCC.

Full Title of Study: “Enhanced Care Planning and Clinical-Community Linkages to Comprehensively Address the Basic Needs of Patients With Multiple Chronic Conditions”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Screening
    • Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: August 2023

Detailed Description

The number of patients in the United States with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) is growing. Many patients with poorly controlled MCC also have unhealthy behaviors, mental health challenges, and unmet social needs. Medical management of MCC may have limited benefit if patients are struggling to address these basic life needs. Health systems and communities increasingly recognize the need to address these issues and are experimenting with and investing in new models for connecting patients with needed services. Yet primary care clinicians, whose regular contact with patients makes them more familiar with patients' needs, are often not included in these systems. Responding to the Special Emphasis Notice NOT-HS-16-013, Optimizing Care for People Living with MCC through the Development of Enhanced Care Planning, the investigators propose a clinician-level randomized controlled trial to study how primary care clinicians can participate in these community and hospital solutions and whether doing so is effective in controlling MCC. This study will build on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-funded Accountable Health Community (AHC) in Richmond, Virginia. Sixty clinicians in the Virginia Ambulatory Care Outcomes Research Network (ACORN) will be matched by age and sex and randomized to usual care (control condition) or enhanced care planning with clinical-community linkage support (intervention). From the electronic health record (EHR), clinicians will identify all patients with MCC, including cardiovascular disease or risks, diabetes, obesity, or depression. A baseline assessment will be mailed to 50 randomly selected patients; 10 respondents per clinician (600 patients total) with uncontrolled MCC will be randomly selected, with over-sampling of minorities. The intervention includes two components. First, an enhanced care planning tool called My Own Health Report (MOHR) will screen patients for health behavior, mental health, and social needs. Clinical navigator support will help patients prioritize needs, create care plans based on preferences, and write a personal narrative to guide the care team. Patients will update care plans quarterly. Second, community-clinical linkage support will include community resource registries, personnel to span settings (clinical navigators, community health workers), and care team coordination tools (sharing MOHR content, secure messaging, and virtual visits). The investigators will compare patient-level intervention and control outcomes to assess improvements in MCC outcomes (primary outcome) and self-reported PROMIS-29 measures (physical health, mental health, social wellbeing) six months and two years post-enrollment. the investigators will also conduct a mixed-methods, multilevel assessment of person-, family-, community-, and system-level contextual influences on implementation and effectiveness. Data sources will include EHR and MOHR data, chart reviews, patient surveys, field notes, and semi-structured interviews of patients, clinicians, and community stakeholders. If effective, this study will help inform efforts by primary care clinicians to participate in the growing number of AHC-like systems as a strategy to better control MCC.

Interventions

  • Behavioral: Enhanced care planning
    • The intervention includes (1) screening for unhealthy behaviors, mental health needs, and social needs, (2) creation of a care plan, (3) quarterly updates to the plan, (4) a clinical navigator and community health worker to support accomplishing the care plan, (5) registry of community resources and programs, and (6) messaging and video-visit system for team members.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Enhanced care planning
    • The intervention consists of two components – enhanced care planning and clinical-community linkages. The enhanced care plan is created using MOHR (https://myownhealthreport.org). MOHR screens patients for unhealthy behaviors, mental health needs, and social needs. Patients identify the needs they would like to address and create a care plan, which they update quarterly. A clinical navigator and community health worker (CHW) help patients address their care plans using clinical-community linkages, which has four components. First, clinicians and clinical navigators have a resource registry identifying community programs and support – No Wrong Door (NWD) and https://navigator.aafp.org/. Second, MOHR shares information (care plans, patient narrative, and patient progress) across clinical and community team members. Third, MOHR supports messaging and video visits for team members and patients. Finally, MOHR sends care team members quarterly patient progress updates.
  • No Intervention: Usual medical care
    • Clinicians randomized to the control condition will continue to provide “usual care.” This includes current non-systematic assessment of health behaviors, mental health needs, and social needs. Neither clinicians nor patients will be eligible to receive CHW support or have access to NWD. Clinicians may refer some control patients to community programs as part of their current usual care. Control clinicians will be blinded as to which patients are included in the study. At the end of the study, the investigators will share with control clinicians our lessons learned, access to MOHR, and lists of useful community resources.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Enhanced care plan creation (implementation outcome)
    • Time Frame: Within 6 months of enrollment
    • This outcome reports the percent of intervention patients who complete the creation of an enhanced care plan (numerator = intervention patients who create an enhanced care plan / denominator = all enrolled intervention patients).
  • Health behavior, mental health, and social needs
    • Time Frame: Within 6 months of enrollment
    • This outcome will measure the number of health behavior, mental health, and social needs that patients have who complete an enhanced care plan. This is a frequency count of each specific need based on the health risk assessment output.
  • Referral to and connection to community resources (implementation outcome)
    • Time Frame: Over 2 years after enrollment
    • This outcome will measure which community resources intervention patients are referred to for assistance with addressing health behaviors, mental health, and social needs. This is a frequency count of the number of intervention patients referred to each potential community resource.
  • Effectiveness – chronic condition control
    • Time Frame: 6 months after creating a care plan
    • Percent of patients with an uncontrolled chronic condition for intervention patients versus usual care
  • Maintenance – chronic condition control
    • Time Frame: 2 years after creating a care plan
    • Percent of patients with an uncontrolled chronic condition for intervention patients versus usual care
  • Effectiveness – quality of life: Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS-29)
    • Time Frame: 6 months after creating a care plan
    • Pre-post change in eight Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS-29) domains for intervention patients versus usual care. Norm-based scores will be calculated for each domain on the PROMIS measures, so that a score of 50 represents the mean or average of the reference population. A score of 60 means that the person is one standard deviation above the reference population. Higher scores means that the patient is reporting greater symptoms. Scores will be calculated using the Healthmeasures Scoring Service (http://www.healthmeasures.net/score-and-interpret/calculate-scores).
  • Maintenance – quality of life: eight PROMIS-29 domains
    • Time Frame: 2 years after creating a care plan
    • Pre-post change in eight PROMIS-29 domains for intervention patients versus usual care

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Two or more chronic conditions – At least one uncontrolled condition – Completes baseline survey Exclusion Criteria:

  • Participating in Richmond Accountable Health Community study – Clinician excludes patients

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: 99 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Collaborator
    • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Alex H Krist, MD MPH, Principal Investigator, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Alex H Krist, MD MPH, 703-389-2404, ahkrist@vcu.edu

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