Monday, May 6, 2013

Reducing Emergency Department Overuse

Overuse of the Emergency Department for non-urgent or avoidable visits costs the U.S health care system an estimated $38 billion/ year. A Research Brief was published by New England Healthcare Institute Reducing Emergency Department Overuse. The brief covered the following topics:
  • Who overuses the ED?
  • What are the root causes of the problem?
  • What are the consequences of ED Overuse?
  • Solutions
    • Redesign primary care services
      • Telephone Access to After-Hours Consultation
      • Extended Practice Hours
      • Open Access Scheduling
      • Group Visits or Shared Medical Appointments
    • Access to Appropriate Services
      • Outreach to Primary Care Providers
      • Connecting Vulnerable Patients to Appropriate Services
    • Provide Alternative Sites of Primary Care for Non-Urgent Conditions
      • Urgent Care Services
      • Worksite Clinics
      • Telemedicine
  • Improve Disease Care and Management
  • Provide Patient Education
  • Offer Patients Financial Incentives
    • Increased Co-payments for Non-Urgent Use
    • Healthy Rewards Accounts
    • Collect Improved Data on ED Use
    • ED Census Reports
    • Predictive Modeling
  • NEHI Recommends the following: 
    • Establish collaborative relationships among EDs, primary care providers and community services
    • Understand the Patient Population
    • Reform payment for primary care services
    • Invest in health information technology
    • Increase the primary care workforce
    • Redesigning primary care services
To view the full study, please click the following link: "Reducing Emergency Department Overuse"

For additional billing, coding, and reimbursement resources, please click the following link: Medical Reimbursement Resources Page