Independence Blue Cross and Health Dialog, a provider of health care analytics and decision support, is collaborating on a new pilot program that will offer health coaching to people with chronic illnesses to help them stay well and out of the hospital.

Through the pilot, four primary care practices serving 10,000 patients in the Philadelphia region will work with dedicated health coaches who will communicate with patients who are at increased risk for acute health problems, such as diabetics with high blood pressure or severe asthmatics.

The four practices are patient-centered medical homes, a new model of care that brings a personalized team approach to primary care. Medical homes are different from other primary care practices in that chronically ill patients can be seen more quickly, often have direct communication with their doctors through secure email, and are cared for by a team of health educators and medical staff who help them stay well.

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