Minnesota Health Officials Seek $5 Million for Measles Outbreak

From NBC News:

An outbreak of measles that has sickened 51 people is stretching public health departments thin and costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, officials said Wednesday.

Minnesota Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger asked the state Legislature for $5 million for an emergency fund to deal with the outbreak and other infectious diseases, such as Zika and syphilis.

Despite author’s protest, journal removes paper on emergency department prices

From Retraction Watch:

A journal has temporarily removed a paper showing the dramatic differences in the cost of providing emergency care that caught national attention (and some criticism from emergency care providers), despite the first author’s claims that the results are valid.

The paper, published online in February by the Annals of Emergency Medicine, showed that it can cost significantly more for patients to be treated at emergency departments than at urgent care centers, even for the same conditions. Soon after the paper was published, first author Vivian Ho at Rice University was told by the American College of Emergency Physicians, which publishes the journal, that there were some errors in the appendix, and they wanted to reanalyze the entire paper.

Community Paramedicine Pilot Projects Address Gaps, Reduce Costs of Emergency Medicine

From UK Healthcare:

One option to reduce costly hospital readmissions is to extend a paramedic’s role beyond a patient’s hospital discharge so that paramedics can loop back and check in on patients, make sure they are following their post-discharge instructions, look for signs that a patient needs more medical attention (for example, a fever that might suggest infection) and identify hazards at home that might land patients back in the hospital (such as trip hazards for patients who use walkers).

“If we can catch issues before they become emergencies, we help keep the patient safely at home, reduce post-discharge complications, ease the pressure on EMS and hospital resources, and lower costs all around,” said Lubbers.

Unnecessary emergency room visits are also a significant driver of costs, so finding ways to divert super-utilizers to the appropriate level of care can reduce financial burden.  Minnesota’s CP/MIH program identifies super-utilizers and converts them to a managed care approach that addresses medical, social and behavioral needs. For example, a quick check of a diabetic patient’s refrigerator might tip a visiting community paramedic off to poor nutrition, which then precipitates an appointment with a nutritionist or social services. Through the program, Minnesota has seen ER use by super-utilizers decrease by 60 to 70 percent.