TRAVERSE CITY — Bill Moore developed a cough within a week of returning from the hospital.
He was back at his home in Traverse Manor, sweaty and feverish, too weak to rise from his living room chair.
Bill Moore’s home care nurses noticed the symptoms and called Julie Hartl, owner of Chronic Care Management. She went to the home Moore, 88, shares with his wife Adell Moore, 81, who is wheelchair-bound with dementia.
“He was obviously developing the signs of pneumonia,” Hartl said.
Hartl ordered a blood test and antibiotic and treated Moore’s pneumonia right from his living room.
“Had I not done that, or had the nurses not had someone to call, he would have continually gotten ill at home until they eventually said he was so sick he had to go to the hospital,” Hartl said.
Hartl is a nurse practitioner who launched her business, Chronic Care Management, in April. She quit working in Munson Medical Center’s Palliative Care program when it stopped providing home care visits early this year.
“Making home visits was really important to me as a nurse practitioner,” Hartl said. “(Patients) didn’t have to leave the house. They had someone coming to them, diagnosing them. I felt it was really necessary to have in the community.”
Hartl visits and treats patients with chronic diseases. She helps patients stay well by keeping track of symptoms and treating illnesses when they start so they don’t end up in emergency rooms. She works with home care nurses and primary care doctors and her practice is covered by insurance.
Think of her as an old-time visiting doctor.
Hartl said Chronic Care Management doesn’t compete with primary care physicians, who are often too busy to spend much time with patients or get them into the office within the day. Her work also helps hospitals avoid new Affordable Care Act fines that pile on when Medicare patients are re-admitted for pneumonia, heart failure or a heart attack within 30 days of discharge.