Kaitlin Ugolik is a brooklyn-based journalist who writes and edits stories about the law, health, finance, technology and the media.

Coordinating the new health coordinators

There have certainly been more than enough headlines about the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare since it was passed, but the stories seem to usually be about the same things - the program falling apart (or being perceived to be falling apart) in some way or other, and cost. One big piece of the puzzle that I have often wondered about but haven't seen covered much is job creation, specifically the creation of new go-between positions to help individuals better communicate with their doctors. These new positions aren't solely the result of Obamacare — the growing elderly population and evolving approaches to certain chronic diseases are also behind the influx of case managers, facilitators and health coaches.

I went back and forth for a while wondering whether I'd ever get around to doing some sort of freelance project about this topic, but today I'm glad to say a journalist with much more expertise in the area has tackled it in the Times. Paula Span, a reporter and writer I highly admire, took a look at 'The Tangle of Coordinated Health Care' in which many patients and their families now find themselves. The question she answers: now that we have all of these new helpers, how do they coordinate with each other, and how do we keep track of all of them? It's a great piece, definitely worth a read to understand one of the underreported elements of our new health care landscape.

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