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NJ Hospital Association: Care Coordination Can Reduce Unnecessary ED Visits

The New Jersey Hospital Association and partner organizations have made several recommendations for hospitals to reduce inappropriate emergency department use by Medicaid patients.

These recommendations are based on findings from a study conducted by NJHA's Health Research and Educational Trust, the state Department of Human Services and the New Jersey Primary Care Association. The groups implemented an express care process, coordinated with federally qualified health centers and established case managers to encourage patients to seek care at the ED only for emergencies. Their interventions decreased Medicaid patients' inappropriate ED utilization by 47 percent over two and a half years.

Here are some of the groups' recommendations for using their model in the future:

•    Healthcare organizations should conduct consumer outreach to educate the public about appropriate ED utilization.
•    Federally qualified health centers should promote their services competitively.
•    Medicaid HMOs should increase their network of primary care providers.
•    Policies should create economic incentives for patients to use primary care sites.
•    Hospital EDs should coordinate care with primary care providers in the community.

More Articles on ED Utilization:

NJ Hospital Project Cut Medicaid Patients' Inappropriate ED Use by 47%
25 States With Highest ER Visits in 2010

CDC: Publicly Insured Young Adults Visit ER More Than Uninsured

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