Groups Tout Program Aimed at Cutting ED Use in California
Supporters of a five-year pilot program that directed frequent users of hospital emergency departments to other sources of health care are lobbying the Legislature to approve a similar effort, the Fresno Bee reports.
Six counties -- Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Tulare -- participated in the pilot, which is set to end next month. It was funded by $10 million in grants from the California Endowment and the California HealthCare Foundation.
According to the Bee, ED visits declined by about 35% for participants in the program.
In addition, preliminary findings from the Lewin Group, a Virginia-based consulting firm, show that:
- Hospital and ED charges decreased by $9,715 for each frequent user of EDs identified in the program;
- Hospital admissions decreased by 30%; and
- Between 24% and 69% of people identified in the program were successfully enrolled in other services, including Medi-Cal.
Supporters of the program estimate that it would cost the state about $10 million to launch the initiative statewide but that the cost of the program would be offset by savings from preventing hospital ED visits.
Groups lobbying the Legislature for the program include the:
- California Association of Public Hospitals;
- California Medical Association;
- California State Association of Counties; and
- Western Center on Law and Poverty (Correa, Fresno Bee, 8/16).
CHCF publishes California Healthline.
This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.