Back to Insights and Updates for ProvidersDecember 2023

Reducing avoidable emergency department use

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Preventable emergency department (ED) visits are a burden on both patients and the health care system, and Point32Health aims to support providers in ensuring that the ED is used appropriately and in reducing avoidable or unnecessary visits.

While our provider partners should continue to reinforce to patients the importance of visiting the ED for serious symptoms and medical emergencies, we encourage you to recommend the use of alternative resources when reasonable, such as urgent care centers and telehealth.

Point32Health emphasizes that patients should use primary care as their first line of defense, options like urgent care or telehealth if no primary care appointments are available, and the ED only for severe issues and life-threatening emergencies.

Our efforts to combat ED overuse include offering support and information to our provider network to assist with care coordination, educating members on the medically appropriate use of EDs, and addressing issues of timely access to primary care. Potential suggestions for improvement on the latter include expanding provider office hours, connecting patients with retail clinics and urgent care centers, utilizing physician assistants and nurse practitioners to support an office practice when needed, and increasing the availability of nurse hotlines and telehealth.

Audrey Kleinberg,
Director, Provider Relations & Communications

Annmarie Dadoly,
Senior Manager, Provider Communications

Joseph O’Riordan, Susan Panos, Ryan Francis, Stephen Wong,

Kristin Edmonston,
Production Coordinator

Kristina Cicelova,
Graphic Designer