As a care coordinator for Beaumont’s Accountable Care Organization, Marcelli Contreras is dedicated to helping geriatric patients experiencing advanced illnesses. But to her patients, the work that Marcelli does makes her “an angel.”
Marcelli was the first nurse to join the ACO’s Advanced Illness Management team, which strives to give patients the best quality of life by helping them navigate complex care plans. Patients are often referred to the program after repeated hospital admissions. The team researches their history to help ensure proper transfer of care and medications, saving them both time and money and avoiding unnecessary hospital visits.
“We build trust and the patient becomes much more comfortable in their own care given the extra attention and guidance,” Marcelli said. “If you establish a relationship, and give them the tools and the knowledge, they feel like they're in control of their situations and can better manage their illness.”
Recently, Marcelli worked with a patient who needed a specialized formula that wasn’t covered by Medicare and cost the family $800 a month. Marcelli spent a month working with Medicare and physicians on record transfers and was successful in appealing the decision. Because of her dedication, the patient is now able to afford the formula.
Marcelli says she is proud of the work she does and feels like she is truly making a positive impact of the quality of life for both the patient and the family.
“Through this program we can affect people's lives one family and one person at a time,” Marcelli said. “I feel like this is where I belong.”