A retrospective cohort study examined the health care utilization of a group of patients in Memphis, Tennessee who met the enrollment criteria for the SafeMed Program, a care transitions program focused on reducing hospital readmissions and health care costs.
- The program was open to adult patients with Medicaid and/or Medicare, multiple chronic conditions, and multiple hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits within a six-month period.
- Researchers followed the cohort, tracking hospitalizations and ED visits in the 12 months following the six months of high health care use.
- In the 12-month period, the cohort of patients had a mean of 3.2 hospitalizations and 2.8 ED visits without hospitalization. Although these patients had at least two chronic conditions, 46 percent said they did not have a primary care provider.
- The study authors concluded that patients with a history of high health care utilization may continue to use expensive health care services, and may be a good target for intervention.
- What were the health care utilization patterns of a group of patients identified for inclusion in a care transitions program?
- Are patients with multiple chronic conditions and a history of hospitalizations likely to continue high utilization?