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Hochul applauds $2.5 million-plus challenge grant to reduce area health care costs

by jmaloni
Wed, May 9th 2012 09:50 am

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Awards Grant to University Emergency Medical Systems

Congresswoman Kathy Hochul applauded a grant Tuesday from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation awarded to University Emergency Medical Services, a nonprofit affiliate of the University at Buffalo, for a program that aims to cut health care costs, create new jobs, and improve overall community health.

"This program will benefit all of Western New York by making our health care systems more efficient and cost effective. I applaud the work of University Emergency Medical Services in putting this program together and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation in recognizing our region's potential in health care leadership," Hochul said.

"The purpose of the grant is to reduce health care costs. For every dollar spent, we expect to save at least $2.50. The intent of the program is to train individuals who are not medical professionals to act as patient advocates for people who frequent emergency departments. The patient advocates will be working within patients' homes, right in the communities in which they live," said Dr. Richard Braen of UB's Department of Emergency Medicine.

The program creates new jobs for community health workers to match high-risk patients with appropriate primary care, social and health services, education, and health coaching. Expected outcomes of this program include lower repeat emergency room visits, reduced hospital admissions, and improved health. The $2,570,749 award comes from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and, over three-years, is expected to save an estimated $6.1 million.

University Emergency Medical Services is a nonprofit practice plan affiliated with the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University at Buffalo. It provides medical staff for the emergency departments at Buffalo General Hospital and the Erie County Medical Center.

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