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Pathways palliative care program now accepting BlueCross BlueShield members

by jmaloni

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Wed, Apr 23rd 2014 10:40 pm

The Pathways palliative care program announces a new affiliation with BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York for members living in Niagara County.

The palliative care program provides case management support and services to BCBS members with serious, chronic and progressive illness. This innovative program can improve the patient's quality of life through symptom management and assistance navigating the health care system. Support from Pathways can help reduce the need for emergency room visits and hospitalizations, while keeping BCBS members comfortable in their homes.

Services from experts in the palliative care field provide relief from distressing symptoms and can also help patients deal with serious side effects of medical treatments.

"Each Pathways patient's individual needs are assessed and valued. Pathways and BlueCross BlueShield work with the member's primary care physician to give seriously ill patients the best option to live life more comfortably, to breathe easier and to receive optimal pain management," said Pathways Director Joann Stoll, RN, CHPN.

Services offered by Pathways include open and supportive discussions about treatment choices and symptom management; coordination of care with all health care providers; emotional support for the patient and family; 24/7 telephone access to a registered nurse; social work visits to help complete advance directives, routine visits and regular phone contact to monitor the patient's condition and answer questions via the palliative care case manager.

BlueCross BlueShield members living in Niagara County dealing with serious health issues such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer, congestive heart failure, progressive neurological disorders, advanced Alzheimer's disease or other dementia may benefit from Pathways services.

"The addition of the Pathways palliative care program ensures our members will have the support they need at home," said Dr. Raghu Ram, chief medical officer, BlueCross BlueShield of WNY. "This service will also help educate members about the importance of advance directives and the benefits of choosing a Health Care Proxy."

Pathways is offered to BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York members who live in Niagara County and are dealing with a serious, progressive illness and wish to remain at home. For more information or to make a referral to Pathways, call 716-439-4417 (select option 3), or visit www.PathwaysPCP.org. The TDD number for hearing impaired is 1-800-662-1220. A Pathways representative is available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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