Webinar Addresses the Multiple Challenges of Multimorbidity

October 29, 2019
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Caring for multimorbid patients comes with significant challenges and requires practitioners to successfully balance many issues and considerations at once. In a new Society webinar, Multimorbidity in Post-Acute and Long-Term Care (PALTC), set for November 6, Anthony Caprio, MD, CMD, will present case studies to illustrate a systemic approach to caring for these patients. He also will offer current clinical evidence and prognostic tools specifically to help practitioners in the PALTC setting care for their multimorbid patients.

“These are very complex patients with multiple conditions who take many medications,” Dr. Caprio says. An additional layer of complexity involves the patient’s and/or family’s feelings and wishes, plus external issues such as national quality measures and regulatory requirements.

Another challenge Dr. Caprio will address involves the frequent need to recalibrate patient and family expectations over time. “Often they have focused for years on specific medical parameters that call for a different focus as individuals get older and have more illnesses,” he says; and quality of life and patient goals supersede achieving certain numbers.

Dr. Caprio’s presentation will help give practitioners the confidence to apply critical thinking to care for complicated patients as they work through the many issues involved, set priorities, and establish care plans. The program also will offer validation. He explains, “I think a lot of practitioners are already knee-deep in this. They are likely to go away from this program with the validation that they are doing the right things and devising appropriate plans of care that advocate for the patient without overwhelming the care team.”

There are numerous studies about the various conditions that practitioners see in multimorbid patients. However, many of these aren’t specific to PALTC. Dr. Caprio will help participants be thoughtful about the studies they read. For instance, he says, many of the more quoted studies are about a community-dwelling population, which is “distinctly different” than PALTC. When reviewing studies, he notes, “It is important to look at things such as the risks of the particular treatments involved, the time to benefit, and whether the study included patients who are multimorbid.” These issues will help determine if a study may be applicable to multimorbid PALTC patients.

Applying a systemic process to managing multimorbid patients can help ensure that the entire interdisciplinary team is on the same page. “Everyone needs to have common knowledge about the prognosis and treatment options, and there needs to be a shared understanding of goals,” he says. He observes that technology plays a role in this: “We are identifying multimorbidity more effectively because information is captured more rapidly and shared in more meaningful ways.”

The case studies in the program “will resonate with participants and involve issues we’re all facing on a regular basis,” Dr. Caprio says. He notes that in light of the new Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM), it’s the perfect time to take a renewed look at multimorbidity. “These patients with multiple diagnoses are acknowledged in this new payment structure, and it puts an increased emphasis on identifying and care planning for multimorbid patients,” he observes.

As always, this webinar is free for Society members. Click here for more information or to register.