Novel Emergency Department High Utilizer Surveillance In New Hampshire


Researchers have demonstrated benefits to identifying and developing interventions for patients that frequently seek healthcare services in the ED. The New Yorker Magazine, recently published an article titled The Hot Spotters, summarizing work being done in the United States to lower medical costs by giving the neediest patients better healthcare (1). In Camden, NJ, Physician Jeffrey Brenner closed his regular practice to focus on Hot Spotter patients (directing resources and brainpower to help their improvement) and measured a 40% reduction in hospital inpatient and ED visits and a 56% medical cost reduction for the first 36 Hot Spotters. A 2008 NH Office of Medicaid Business and Policy (OMBP) outpatient Medicaid ED frequency visit study was conducted, which cited that frequent ED users were more likely to have higher costs and rates of illness or disease than all Medicaid members (2). It was noted that increased prevention and wellness could reduce frequent ED use and increase cost savings (5% of the NH Medicaid population contributed to approximately 38% of ED costs). The NH Division of Public Health Services initiated a pilot project to examine NH Emergency Department (ED) surveillance data to identify high utilizer patients and realize improved health benefits and medical cost reductions.


To develop a manageable surveillance methodology to detect Emergency Department (ED) patients with the highest healthcare utilization, and monitor their targeted treatment improvement and medical health cost reductions over time for overall improvements in statewide health.

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December, 2012

June 25, 2018

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