New Ulm Medical Center splits social worker cost of social worker with health plan to curb emergency department overuse

[HospitalLeaders, December 5, 2019] New Ulm Medical Center struck a deal with a local payer willing to share the cost of a simple intervention. The arrangement has been paying dividends for seven years.

Patients who use the emergency department at least three times within four months at Allina Health’s New Ulm Medical Center in New Ulm, Minnesota, have their names added to a high-utilization list.

The keeper of that list is Jennifer Eckstein, a licensed social worker who follows up with each patient directly, looking to solve underlying problems that may be driving their frequent ED use. Whether the patients need a primary care physician, a mental healthcare provider, supportive housing, or another solution, Eckstein does her best to address their social determinants of health and steer them away from the ED for non-emergent care.

Read the full story online at www.healthleadersmedia.com.

New Ulm Medical Center.

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