Alexandria, VA | December 22, 2023
New NPF-funded research published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology provides evidence that implementation of a care coordinator program may substantially reduce risk of developing related health conditions, particularly cardiovascular disease, among psoriasis patients.
Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease associated with premature mortality, largely explained by an excess risk of cardiovascular (CV) events. Despite increased risk, identification and management of risk factors are insufficient, and clinicians share concerns about having the time, resources, and expertise to act on screening results.
To address this gap, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) funded novel research to develop and pilot a centralized care coordination model for psoriasis patients as part of its strategic plan. This study, called Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality in Patients with Psoriasis or Psoriatic Arthritis (CP3), outlines a model where a dermatologist or rheumatologist first educates an individual about cardiovascular risks associated with psoriatic disease, measures risk factors, and then refers the patient to a care coordinator (CC) for additional follow-up. The CC calculates CV risk and meets virtually with the individual to create a guideline-based plan for diet, exercise, and smoking cessation to be implemented with their primary care provider.
This pilot study, in which a CC was embedded in routine clinical care at two dermatology and two rheumatology sites in the U.S., suggests that the care coordination model is promising and highly feasible. More than 85% of individuals completed CV risk assessment and virtual meetings with the CC, consistent with prior studies showing that patients are highly motivated to act on CV screening recommendations from their dermatologists or rheumatologists.
“Pilot data is incredibly promising,” said Joel Gelfand, M.D., principal investigator of the CP3 study, and James J. Leyden Professor of Dermatology & Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. “This represents a tremendous opportunity to reduce preventable CV morbidity and mortality in patients with psoriatic disease.”
“Care coordination has the potential to mitigate disease burden for the psoriatic disease community," said Guy Eakin, Ph.D., Chief Scientific and Medical Officer at NPF. “The average cost of drug development exceeds five billion dollars and averages 17 years. By introducing an intervention in the health care system, which focuses on improving the way care is delivered, we can improve patient health outcomes rapidly and without significant costs.”
NPF is excited to partner with the University of Pennsylvania to expand this program to clinical settings across the United States. By bringing the care coordination model to larger and more diverse populations, the teams will assess how the program can be optimized to improve outcomes in a variety of settings in the second phase of this study. During this phase, a CC will be embedded within NPF – leveraging the organization’s expertise in health education and patient advocacy.
“As part of the NPF strategic plan, we strive to develop and implement strategies that reduce the likelihood of complications from psoriatic disease – ensuring our community can live longer and fuller lives,” said Leah M. Howard, J.D., President and CEO of NPF. “Pilot data from the CP3 study suggests that care coordination is an effective tool in expanding the value of each clinical encounter and paving the way for a healthier future for all who live with this disease.”
About the National Psoriasis Foundation
Serving the community of people impacted by psoriatic disease for more than 55 years with patient support, advocacy, research, and education, the National Psoriasis Foundation is the leading nonprofit representing individuals with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The mission of NPF is to drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of more than 8 million individuals in the United States affected by this chronic immune-mediated disease. Learn more at psoriasis.org.