Now in it's ninth year, the Asheville Project has positively engaged patients in self-management of chronic diseases through quality interactions with their community pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and clinical dieticians. This model program represents a pioneer coordinated effort and alignment of incentives across providers, payers, employers and patients can improve health, lower healthcare costs, and improve productivity.
The Asheville Project has been providing pharmaceutical care services for employees of the City of Asheville for 9 years and employees of Mission Hospital for 7 years. These services are provided by a network of pharmacists in the area who have completed accredited diabetes certification program on coaching patients to self-manage their diabetes. Success is defined as improvement in hemoglobin A1c, increase patient satisfaction and decreased cost of medical care. Co-payments for diabetes medications and supplies are waived as an incentive to participate in the program. The program now includes diabetes, asthma, hypertension and lipid management. Because of the success of the Asheville Project and the five national employer projects that followed (Mohawk Carpet, Kroger Foods, Ohio State University, Lakeshore, WI Business Coalition and Vanity Fair, Inc), there is increasing interest in developing additional models that can be replicated, modified and scaled, to impact other communities and transform chronic disease outcomes and cost management across the United States. The common denominator for success include aligned incentives across stakeholders including recipients of care, collaborative delivery of care, pharmacist disease management education (and certification), significant decreases in total medical care costs and empowering patients to effectively self-manage their chronic disease.