Best Practices for Addressing the Medical and Social Needs of “Super-Utilizer” Patients

Principal Investigators
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan
Funded on

A subset of patients with complex health and social needs—often referred to as “super-utilizers”—account for the majority of public health care expenditures in the United States. Although there has been increased attention to this subpopulation recently, the existing evidence regarding the impact of interventions is limited.

This project is investigating effective existing and potential emergency department (ED), hospital, and emergency medical services (EMS) interventions that address the medical and social needs of these patients in Michigan, while decreasing avoidable ED utilization and hospitalizations, and reducing health care costs. The research approach includes:

  1. A statewide survey to examine perceptions of medical control authority and emergency department directors regarding these interventions.
  2. A systematic review of interventions aimed at reducing emergency department utilization among patients with complex health and social needs.

Key staff: Mahshid Abir

Evidence

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“Super-utilizers” have been the subject of much attention as health care systems work to reduce costs and provide better care. As part of their work to understand best practices for addressing the medical and social needs of high-need/high-cost patients, Samantha Iovan, Paula Lantz, Katie Allan, and Mahshid Abir published a systematic review examining interventions that are being implemented to address super-utilizers in prehospital and emergency care settings in the U.S.