Release Date: May 30, 2012
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 Insurance Program.
"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 homes."
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 visits.
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.