Employing case managers can result in savings

Case managers can make a significant economical difference for HMO providers by reducing emergency department (ED) visits, hospital admissions, and high costs, a California hospital recently discovered.

Desert Hospital in Palm Springs, CA, decided to implement a case management program for its Medicare risk patients after the hospital experienced high costs and frequent hospital admissions for this group, according to an article in Public Sector Contracting Report.

Patients in the program receive a home visit from the program’s nurse manager, who considers factors such as physical health and medical regimen and passes along those considerations to an interdisciplinary team. The team then develops a patient care plan. So far, a pilot program with 10 patients cut costs by 24%, dropped ED visits per patient from 11 to one, and reduced lengths of stay in the hospital from 66 to 19 days.