The federal government has been making a push in recent years to cut medical costs by treating more patients outside hospitals. As part of this push, last week, the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn was awarded nearly $15 million in grant money to set up medical “homes” for psychiatric patients.
The hospital’s CEO Pamela Brier expect their new care program will reduce hospitalization by 30%, thus saving Medicaid $42 million over three years. Maimonides Medical Center profits off its current system of Medicaid reimbursement, but saving Medicaid money is in the interest of the federal government. New York state is often seen to be overspending on Medicaid without much progress.
The medical “home” is to be an electronic network where health care workers can track the progress of the estimated 7,500 psychiatric patients under the hospital’s care. Of the seriously mentally ill patients her medical center oversees, Brier said, “These people are very expensive users of the health system with a lot of repetitive admission.” By tracking the patients’ progress, health care workers will be able to eliminate repeated care. The electronic network will also house all medical records, ensuring that all case overseers are working with the same up-to-date information. (Photo: Uberzombie/Flickr)