September 22, 2016 Healthy Living

How the Age-Old ‘House Call’ Made a Comeback

“You sat with my dad and our family for hours on end, never leaving us until you knew he was OK. Words cannot express what you have done for Dad, and for us, in our time of need.”

Johna Palmer of Ravena gets emotional while talking about the final days of her father’s life. Gaetano “Guy” Anatriello, 83, was in and out of the hospital, battling congestive heart failure and lung disease, when he received a call from his health plan, CDPHP®. The insurer told him about a partnership it had with an in-home care provider, Landmark Health, and offered to send a physician to his home. A bit skeptical, Guy declined.

Johna and her family continued to respond to her father’s failing health. At one point, they rushed him to the hospital three times in one month. During his last stay, Guy developed sepsis and nearly lost his life. Shortly thereafter, CDPHP once again picked up the phone to extend a hand. After much discussion with his family, Guy decided to give Landmark a try.

CDPHP explained to the family that it had partnered with Landmark Health to provide in-home, concierge-level care to members with multiple chronic conditions. Landmark further clarified that its doctors are available 24/7 in the event of an emergency or urgent care need, guaranteeing a response time of less than one hour. The goal, they said, is to improve the quality of life for CDPHP members and their families, all while saving money by avoiding costly, unnecessary hospitalizations.

Johna and her family were relieved that her father accepted the help and quickly developed an appreciation for the support that Landmark provided.

“A weekly health problem my dad was having was the retention of fluid around his heart,” she said. “It was a constant struggle to determine where and when it was best to get him treatment. Now with the 24/7 on-call care provided by Landmark, his condition was managed. His hospital admissions became almost nil. Landmark provided in-home routine checks, as well as prescriptions and medical imaging, and even took the guesswork out of relieving the fluid around his heart.”

The Landmark team provided the Anatriello family with more than medical care. They gave them peace of mind, guiding the family through many difficult decisions.

“It was a comfort to my family, as well as my dad, to know that we didn’t have to figure things out alone,” said Johna.

Their caring approach was most evident in January 2016, when Landmark noticed an uptick in urgent visits to Guy’s home. Johna recalls an evening when a Landmark clinician stayed with the family throughout the night, promising not to leave until everything was OK. As the family gathered around the kitchen table, the Landmark clinician gently suggested that the family consider transitioning Guy to hospice.

“They recommended that hospice evaluate Dad,” said Johna. “Shortly after, hospice began rendering care. This point is key, as Landmark was so involved and so personal in Dad’s care that they were aware at an early stage of my father’s need. We had a longer time than many with hospice care, which gave my dad more good days.”

Guy Anatriello passed away peacefully – in his home – on April 21, 2016. His loving family was by his side, as he wanted.

In June 2016, Landmark Health held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its Latham, NY, office to celebrate the company’s expansion and many success stories. Johna and her mother, Rose, were asked to attend. With tears in her eyes, Johna told the story of her father’s experience with Landmark Health.

“It is a privilege to be here as a family who has received care from Landmark, as well as being given the beauty to tell our story. Our prayers were answered in an unexpected way when Landmark became part of our family in 2015. Words cannot express what you have done for Dad, and for us, in our time of need. Simply said, you are truly special in the support, comfort, care, and love you give to those in need.”


Ali Skinner
About the Author

Ali Skinner is a communications professional with nearly 20 years of media, marketing, advertising, and public relations experience. She joined CDPHP in November 2011 and currently serves as Vice President, Communications and External Affairs for one of the top health plans in New York and the nation. In this role, Ali oversees all internal and external communications, public relations, and government relations for the plan’s 400,000 members and 1,200 employees. A self-described recovering journalist, Ali spent 10 years writing and delivering news for a number of television and radio stations in the Syracuse and Albany, NY markets. Today, she uses her journalism background to help patients and the public make sense of complex health care topics.

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