BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The $2.57 million federal Health Care
Innovation Award, granted earlier this month to the University at
Buffalo, is expected to save at least $2 in health care costs in
Western New York for every dollar provided, says G. Richard Braen,
MD, principal investigator, chair of the UB Department of Emergency
Medicine and associate dean of graduate medical education at the UB
School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
The grant was one of 26 projects awarded in the U.S. that
received support in the first round of grants funded by the
Affordable Care Act to deliver better care at lower costs for
people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health
"The basic thing we want to do is to reduce Emergency Department
visits from people who don't need to come to the ED," Braen says.
"There are good opportunities to provide medical care to patients
who tend to come to the Emergency Department but who could just as
easily receive medical care in another setting, including their
The award will fund the selection and training of community
health workers who will conduct home visits to 2300 Medicare and
Medicaid beneficiaries who have repeatedly used Western New York
Emergency Departments for non-emergency care. It also will create
13 new jobs.
The savings will come from the reduction in emergency department
The award, to University Emergency Medical Services, an
affiliate of the Department of Emergency Medicine at UB, was
administered through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid
Innovation within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of
the US Department of Health and Human Services.