Case Management

News: Spectrum Health targets ED frequent fliers for primary care

Case Management Weekly, January 25, 2012

A new program at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, MI is identifying "frequent fliers" at the system's emergency departments and placing those patients with a multi-specialist intervention team, according to a January 18 HealthLeaders Media article.

The program, while only six weeks old, has steered more than 140 patients to the less-expensive coordinated care program and has saved the health system a net total of about $300,000.

"It's going really well—better than we had hoped," R. Corey Waller, MD, a specialist in addiction and emergency medicine, and director of the Spectrum Health Medical Group Center for Integrative Medicine, told HealthLeaders Media.

"We are focusing on getting the patients better and not decreasing ED visits, because if you do the one the other will follow," he says.

The program was launched in early December and identified about 950 patients who'd used the emergency rooms at Spectrum's Butterworth and Blodgett hospitals more than 10 times in a year. Those patients accounted for more than 20,000 total visits and up to $50 million in costs annually.

Read more on the HealthLeaders Media website.

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