Reducing Emergency Care by Connecting Frequent Users to Community-Based Services

Reducing Emergency Care by Connecting Frequent Users to Community-Based Services Wednesday, August 19, 2015

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 136.3 million emergency department (ED) visits in the U.S. during 2011. For a variety of reasons, ranging from convenience to barriers in accessing primary care, many patients seek emergency medical care for chronic health conditions (including mental illness or substance abuse) that can be better managed and treated in other settings. Connecting patients who frequently call 911 or use the ED to community-based medical and social services can help address their underlying needs, reduce their reliance on emergency care, and reduce costs.

This issue’s featured Innovations describe a program in which community health workers partnered with emergency medical providers to connect at-risk individuals to needed community-based services; a center that coordinated intensive medical and behavioral health care, addiction services, and social services for frequent ED users; and a consortium that provided policy recommendations to improve the quality and efficiency of health care services for safety-net users, thereby reducing their reliance on emergency services.

The featured QualityTools include a toolkit that provides resources and recommendations for identifying and reducing inappropriate emergency department (ED) use. 

Also in This Issue:

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