Health Care Innovation Awards: Project Profile


Project Title: "Better health through social and health care linkages beyond the emergency department"
Geographic Reach: New York
Funding Amount: $2,570,749
Estimated 3-Year Savings: $6,100,000


University Emergency Medical Services, a physician practice plan affiliated with the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University at Buffalo, and in partnership with Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), is deploying community health workers to work with frequent emergency department (ED) utilizers and meaningfully link them to primary care, social and health services, education, and provide health coaching. The program targets 2,300 Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries who have had two or more emergency department visits over 12 months in urban Buffalo, New York. Patients are recruited in the emergency department and referred by the ECMC Primary Care Clinics and other hospital affiliated programs. These patients account for 29% of all ED patients and 85% of all hospital inpatients are admitted through the hospital's emergency department. Health coaching and improved access to primary care is expected to result in lower ER utilization, reduced hospital admissions, and improved health with estimated savings of approximately $6.1 million. Over the three year period, University Emergency Medical Service's program will train an estimated 13 health care workers and create an estimated 13 new jobs.

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