People with Parkinson’s often receive care from multiple healthcare providers. These providers may include a movement disorder specialist, a primary care doctor, a physical therapist, and a wide range of other specialists. Ensuring efficient communication between all of these providers can be challenging, and when providers do not communicate well with one another, it can result in less-than-optimal outcomes for people with Parkinson’s.
How a Health System in Utah Wants to “Revolutionize” Parkinson’s Care
To help address the challenges of integrating care for people with Parkinson’s, Intermountain Medical Center in Park City, Utah, recently announced plans to integrate Primary Care Provider (PCP) services into their Movement Disorders Center. Adding a PCP to the Movement Disorders Center is part of a broader program at Intermountain Medical Center called Parkinson’s Elevated.
Intermountain Medical Center describes Parkinson’s Elevated as “an integrated model combining treatment from a movement neurologist and primary care provider with rehab.” An important component of this program is the plan to involve an exercise physiologist, who will serve as a health coach. This is important because people with Parkinson’s frequently receive conflicting information about exercise from different care providers. While this is especially true for people who have additional health concerns like diabetes, obesity, or cardiac issues, it is common for care providers who are not experts in Parkinson’s to not be up to date on the latest information on the importance of exercise for people with Parkinson’s. Having an exercise specialist working closely with your movement disorder specialist and your primary care provider will help ensure that your exercise routine is well-designed relative to the whole picture of your health.
Another key aspect of the Parkinson’s Elevated program is that the clinic’s team will monitor costs and outcomes for those people who receive both primary care and neurology care at the Intermountain Medical Movement Disorders Clinic. The organization plans to use the data they collect to propose a new payment structure to insurance providers in an attempt to help manage the cost of Parkinson’s care.
This ambitious new program has the potential to greatly improve the efficiency of Parkinson’s care teams in the American mountain west region, and Intermountain Medical Center hopes that the Parkinson’s Elevated program will ultimately serve as a model to improve Parkinson’s care in the United States as a whole.
Intermountain Medical Center seeks first Primary Care Provider Candidates
The Parkinson’s Elevated program is currently seeking a primary care physician to help kick off the program. The position will be based near Salt Lake City, Utah, at the Intermountain Medical Center Neurosciences Institute. The program can accommodate physicians seeking a position ranging from half-time to full-time.
The program’s leadership invites interested primary care physicians to contact Madi Korous by emailing Madi.Korous@imail.org for more information or to forward a copy of their CV. Nominations of physicians who may be a good fit for the position are also welcome.
Why this matters for People With Parkinson’s
Your primary care doctor and movement disorder specialist are among the most important members of your care team, and having them working closely together under the same roof will improve the quality of care and attention you receive.
The closer the members of your care team work together, the better you and your team can manage medications and integrate the care of additional providers when necessary. This will be particularly beneficial with regard to designing, implementing, and monitoring exercise programs because we continue to learn more about the optimal type and amount of exercise for people with Parkinson’s, and at present, exercise is the best tool we have for supporting neuronal health and potentially slowing the progression of Parkinson’s.
Intermountain Medical Neurological Care Resources
Special Issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine focusing on Integrated Care for Movement Disorders
Dr. Albert Hung Discusses Parkinson’s for Primary Care Providers
Dr. Bastiaan Bloem Discusses the Best Type of Exercise for People with Parkinson’s
Building Your Parkinson’s Care Team
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