It amazes me that we actually have a label for “frequent flyers” to the emergency room. Oh, wait a minute, that’s a label too. Hmmmm. Anyway, a small blurb in the Family Practice News states that “two Cincinnati-based research and advocacy groups seek to identify and address the issues behind super-utilizers of emergency departments”. They intend to:
- Identify super-utilizers (Easy. The ER staff knows them all by name.)
- Determine the individual problems leading to ED overutilization (Easy. They have no primary care docs.)
- Transition them into more regular sources of care (Yeah, right.)
Here is what I would do. I recommend they buy a small building or park a nice trailer next to the ER. Get a few family docs and pay them a ton and I mean a ton (these are the toughest patients in the world). Give them adequate staff to call these patients, visit these patients, etc. Lastly, pay each of these patients $50 to show up to their regular visits. Sorry, and one more thing, remove the EMTALA law for these patients and have a staff member (runner) literally walk them over from the ER to this new clinic when they show up. The hospital and government would save millions of dollars each year.