Lowell, Mass. – Lowell General Hospital is rolling out a new initiative that will provide outreach and support to Greater Lowell’s most vulnerable patient populations in an effort to strengthen care and reduce readmissions to the hospital.

The program, called the Community Medical Home, is funded in part by a $1 million grant from Phase 2 of the state’s Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization & Transformation (CHART) Investment Program.

At a press conference this week at Lowell General Hospital’s Main Campus, the hospital’s leadership detailed the program alongside leaders from the state’s Health Policy Commission, which is distributing $60 million in CHART grants to 28 community hospitals across the state in an effort to improve quality and reduce costs.

“This CHART grant provides resources to help us transform how we deliver care to members of the community who need it most,” said Normand Deschene, CEO of Lowell General Hospital and Circle Health. “It will allow us to reach out beyond the hospital’s walls and bring health care to our most vulnerable patient populations, keeping them healthier and reducing readmissions to the hospital.”

The Community Medical Home initiative will utilize community health and social workers to seek out patients who have been admitted to the hospital at least four times in a single year. By helping these patients comply with their treatment plan, arrange follow-up appointments and keep up with their prescriptions, the program’s goal is to reduce hospital readmissions by 25 percent, reducing health care costs for everyone.

“Community hospitals play a critical role in the Health Policy Commission’s efforts to achieve the Commonwealth’s cost containment and quality improvement goals,” said David Seltz, Executive Director of the Health Policy Commission. “In making these vital investments, CHART hospitals were issued a challenge: propose initiatives that will put you on a path of transformation, while meeting critical health care needs of your community. We look forward to continuing to partner with Lowell General Hospital and the communities they serve to build a more coordinated and affordable health care system.”