Jack & Kathy Fisher

Patient Knows Care Manager is On His Side

Dorie Rossell is Jack Fisher’s patient care manager, but he has a different job description for her. “I call her my translator,” Jack said. “It’s good to have her on my side.”

A registered nurse, Dorie helps coordinate all of Jack’s medical needs and physician visits. When Jack doesn’t understand something, Dorie explains it. When he needs something, Dorie finds a way to get it for him.

Jack, of Knoxville, Ill., has recurrent infections in his lower legs and osteomyelitis to his right foot. He uses a wheelchair and has constant, chronic pain.

Care management with Dorie was offered to him through the office of his primary care physician, Dr. Val Flacco, at OSF Medical Group – Galesburg Family Medicine. The care management program is complementary to OSF’s participation as a Pioneer Accountable Care Organization.

A care manager becomes the one point of medical contact for patients with multiple, chronic conditions. Care managers coordinate care among the patient’s specialists and primary care physician, identifying unmet needs and making sure the patient’s care team is working together for the best possible outcomes. Those unmet needs are often medical, but aren’t always. Care managers step in to help with whatever is a barrier to good health for the patient.

That’s why one of the first problems Jack brought to Dorie’s attention was a leg cream that had helped him tremendously in the past and was no longer an option because a change in insurance made it too costly. Dorie made some calls to local pharmacies and found one that could provide it to Jack significantly cheaper. Dorie then worked with Jack and his physicians to get other medication costs lowered so he could better afford to take care of his leg conditions.

Jack’s wife, Kathy, sees how much more relaxed Jack is knowing he has such a powerful advocate for his medical care. She is most appreciative of having one person to call for all medical concerns who already knows Jack’s history.

“I would be the one trying to figure out what doctors to go to and how to get hold of those doctors,” Kathy said. “Dorie takes care of everything.”