Health Care News

Partnering with Hospitals to Reduce Avoidable Emergency Visits

Roughly 13 to 27 percent of visits to the emergency department (ED) could be managed in a primary care setting, and the average non-emergency visit to the ED costs seven times more than the average health center visit. In the emerging landscape of value-based care, health centers and hospitals are exploring new partnerships to improve health outcomes and patient experiences while reducing system costs. Many have identified reducing avoidable ED use as a key area for collaboration.

NACHC recently released three new resources to help health centers explore opportunities to partner with hospitals to reduce avoidable ED use. These resources, which were developed with support from Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, include:

  • An issue brief that provides an overview of strategies to reduce ED utilization, federal and state initiatives, and case studies of health centers that have implemented ED care coordination programs.
  • A webinar recording focused on the legal issues as well as operational and financial challenges and benefits of engaging in these partnerships. The webinar also highlights Carolina Health Centers, Inc.’s experience and successes implementing an ED coordination program with the Laurens County Memorial Hospital.
  • A fact sheet summarizing important legal and policy issues that are key to successfully establishing ED care coordination programs for health centers.

Collaboration between health centers and hospitals at the local level plays a critical role in transforming patient care. Learn about other ways health centers and hospitals across the country are partnering at the National Partnership for the Health Care Safety Net, a joint initiative of NACHC, America’s Essential Hospitals, and the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.

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