Twin Cities-based Allina Hospitals and Clinics has received nearly $10 million for a project aimed at improving so-called late life care.
The Robina Foundation will fund a multi-year program designed to better coordinate support for patients in the later stages of illnesses such as cancer, heart failure, and Alzheimer's. The project is aimed at patients who have life expectancies between six months and two years.
The physician heading up the effort, Dr. Eric Anderson, said the goal is to determine early on what the patient wants for their future and then coordinate medical, family and community care to fulfill those choices.
"We think that with good support, folks can actually stay out of the hospital because they're getting what they need in the setting that they prefer to be at," he said.
The project will begin with about a dozen patients during a start-up phase and then begin studying between 400 and 500 patients in January 2013, Anderson said.
"So the kind of results we'll get this year, they'll really be idea results -- models to try, some new innovations, and how care is delivered, and then going forward and implementing those with a large group of people and seeing how it works," he said.
The study will also look at controlling costs while improving end-of-life care for patients and their families.