David Gillis Design

Navigating the Terrain:
A Guide to Appropriate Care

In 2017, Maine ranked 19th in the nation for emergency department (ED) utilization, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. This relatively high ranking is reflected in the ED utilization rate for the MaineHealth ACO’s own Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) beneficiaries, which is more than 100 visits per 1,000 beneficiaries higher than the national ACO average. Mainer’s high ED utilization becomes particularly concerning when considered in the light of another finding: 43 percent of the visits made by the ACO’s MSSP beneficiaries were avoidable and could have been cared for in other settings.
In 2018, the ACO launched REDUCE (Reducing Emergency Department Utilization – A Collaborative Effort), a multi-year project to decrease our patients’ avoidable ED visits and ED utilization rates overall. A key component of REDUCE is Where to Go for Care, a patient-education infographic that illustrates the convenience, cost and clinical options at traditional and emerging sites of care, including the ED, urgent care, walk-in clinics and primary care offices. The goal? To better inform patients about more clinically appropriate, lower cost and in many cases more convenient alternatives to the ED, ultimately shifting appropriate utilization toward these sites.
During its development phase, the Where to Go for Care infographic entered a vigorous review process that incorporated feedback from more than 120 patients, clinicians, health educators and communications professionals. The final version is the first utilization reduction-focused patient education campaign to roll out across the entire ACO network, including members of the MaineHealth family, affiliates and private practices. The reach and impact of the infographic will be assessed throughout 2019 and into 2020. We invite providers to check it out and display it for patients using one of the available formats: poster, flyer or slide for electronic signage. Join us in helping patients get the right care, at the right time, at the right place.
In 2018, the ACO launched REDUCE (Reducing Emergency Department Utilization – A Collaborative Effort), a multi-year project to decrease our patients’ avoidable ED visits and ED utilization rates overall. A key component of REDUCE is Where to Go for Care, a patient-education infographic that illustrates the convenience, cost and clinical options at traditional and emerging sites of care, including the ED, urgent care, walk-in clinics and primary care offices. The goal? To better inform patients about more clinically appropriate, lower cost and in many cases more convenient alternatives to the ED, ultimately shifting appropriate utilization toward these sites.