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Louisville hospital heads off repeat ER visits

University Hospital in Louisville has found it cheaper to pay preventive doctor bills than rack up repeat emergency room visits.

MGN Online

LOUISIVILLE, Ky. (AP) - University Hospital in Louisville has found it cheaper to pay preventive doctor bills than rack up repeat emergency room visits.

According to The Courier-Journal, one man was brought to the emergency room 337 times in fewer than two years, costing the hospital $626,000.

The hospital began a new program, aimed at stopping inappropriate use of the emergency department by people called "super-utilizers."

The program has so far aided 18 patients - six at a time.

The hospital finds doctors to treat the patients and substance abuse programs to aid them and pays for it. So far, the hospital has spent about $18,000 on all patients since August.

Studies have shown that having a primary-care physician or clinic reduces emergency room use significantly and also saves money.


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