Jackson Care Connect board approves Providence ED Guide program

May 28, 2013

The Board of Jackson Care Connect, a community-based Coordinated Care Organization, voted to fund Providence Medford Medical Center’s proposal to develop an Emergency Department Guide Program. The ED Guide Program is intended to improve care management, ensure appropriate site of care, and reduce emergency services utilization for routine or non-urgent care for JCC members. The proposal was part of JCC’s Transformation Plan program to support community efforts to improve or expand local health initiatives. The Transformation funding was provided by CareOregon, which offers administrative and educational support to JCC.


"The [JCC] board was very thoughtful in its approach to funding projects that will make a positive impact in the health and well-being of Jackson Care Connect members," said Chris Pizzi, chief financial officer for Providence Medford. "The hope is to garner enough savings from the initially selected programs [through better health outcomes and greater efficiency] to help provide funding for the next round of projects. Providence is proud that our ED Guide program was selected as one of the first programs that can help transform care, improve outcomes and decrease health care costs. By employing a community health worker as an ED Patient Guide, Providence Medford and JCC will partner to address high ED utilization by patients with non-urgent conditions."


The Providence ED Guide will be specially trained to offer patient education, access to resources and referrals to more appropriate care providers. Non-urgent cases will be connected to local partners including primary care providers and immediate/urgent care providers, Jackson County Mental Health, Addiction Services, and local dental providers in the community.


The goal is to set up an ED Guide program similar to the programs already developed and tested at Providence Portland and Providence St. Vincent's medical centers. A unique aspect of the Providence Medford program is that it will also help facilitate JCC members’ transportation to provider appointments to help ensure continuity of care. Data show that 50 percent of non-urgent ED patients do not follow-up on their referrals due to lack of transportation. 


"It’s an exciting time for the local medical community to help design and implement solutions to community health needs. A number of provider groups submitted proposals for Transformation Funds from JCC, all of which offered valuable innovations. The board was diligent in its efforts to choose those it thought had the most far-reaching and lasting community benefit. Six were chosen to support this year," said Jennifer Lind, regional executive for Jackson Care Connect.


Making the right decision about where to go for primary, urgent or emergency care can benefit a patient's health while saving time and money.