Over the last 18 months, Kaiser Permanente in Colorado has taken a very hard look at its ED utilization across its population, according to Sara Gray, senior manager of emergency services at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado.
Kaiser found that avoidable and unnecessary ED visits accounted for upwards of 20 percent of its approximately 72,000 ED visits per year, which is not an insignificant amount of time, energy and resources being spent on conditions that may be better treated in other locations, she added.
Additionally, like many health plans, Kaiser was experiencing sharply rising costs for ED visits, both as a health plan as well as for its membersí cost share. And finally, a subset of Kaiserís population excessively uses the ED.
Gray shared the steps that Kaiser is taking to mitigate unnecessary and preventable ER visits, including a look at how a data review can identify potential areas to address, strategies to get members to appropriate care, the top 15 ICD-9 codes to target and how narcotic contracts can decrease the number of visits by chemical dependency patients.
Source: Reducing Unnecessary Emergency Room Visits: Strategies To Discourage Inappropriate Use and Reduce Preventable Visits, June 2010
Reducing Unnecessary Emergency Room Visits: Strategies To Discourage Inappropriate Use and Reduce Preventable Visits
During this webinar, Kaiser shared their strategies in reducing inappropriate and avoidable ED use through a three-pronged approach.
Reducing Unnecessary Emergency Room Visits: Strategies To Discourage Inappropriate Use and Reduce Preventable Visits is available from the Healthcare Intelligence Network for $179 by visiting our Online Bookstore or by calling toll-free (888) 446-3530.