• KYW- News At 5/6 PM
    05:00 PM - 06:30 PM

By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With the new phase of the Affordable Care Act in full swing, it’s not only about getting people signed up for insurance.  Hospitals are gearing up for a surge of patients in 2014.  3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on a new approach one local hospital is taking to help everyone get better access to healthcare.

“I’ve been a diabetic since 1981,” said Sandra McMillan, of Camden.  She’s now taking control of her health with the help of her peers.  She’s a part of a group visit at the new Cooper Advanced Care Center.  Everyone in this room is battling diabetes.

“I have my ups and my downs with it, but I’m learning,” said Sandra.

Cooper now offers group visits for conditions like diabetes, asthma, even chronic headaches.  The goal is to offer better access to quality care.

“We’ve been committed to offering excellent care in Camden, and this is the way of continuing that for the larger influx of patients that we expect to see through the Affordable Care Act,” said Dr. Steve Kaufman, who leads the patient care for the group sessions at Cooper.

Before the visits, medical staff huddle together discussing patient cases they’re about to see.  Then they each provide medical care.

“It’s a team based approach to care.  Where I work with a nurse, a nurse practitioner, a pharmacist and a behavioralist,” said Dr. Kaufman.

During the group session, patients discuss their individual battles with diabetes.  In this session, they’re taught how to control their blood sugar, even learn what drinks are good options.

“It’s good.  It makes you feel more comfortable.  It feels as though people are trying to help you with it,” said Sandra.

Dr. Kaufman says he can see many more patients in a day through this program, and they’re still getting quality care.

Patients opt in to this program at Cooper, and it’s covered by insurance.

For more information, visit the link below:

Cooper Advanced Care Center Information- http://www.cooperhealth.org/departments-programs/cooper-advanced-care-center

Watch & Listen LIVE