Introducing the Partners Emergency Department Navigator Pilot
One of the missions of the Partners HealthCare Medicaid Accountable Care Organization (ACO), launched officially in March of this year, is to meet patients “where they are” with services that enhance their access to quality care. A new program is helping to do so by meeting patients seen in the emergency department (ED) and connecting them to appropriate services and supports.
Launched in April 2018, the Partners ED Navigator program was created to help better manage and support Medicaid patients in the ED. Some of these engagements are with patients who are seen in the ED regularly for both routine medical care and unmet social needs, which can range from food insecurity to domestic violence to substance use issues. Many of the patients engaged by this new ED Navigator program tend to visit the ED at a higher rate than the general population.
“These patients have been disenfranchised for a number of possible reasons—issues like housing instability may be negatively impacting their health, they might not be able to afford medications, or they might be struggling to get transportation to appointments so they have lower engagement rates with our primary care providers,” says Dr. Amy Flaster, the clinical director of the program, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Primary Care Physician and an Assistant Medical Director at Partners’ Center for Population Health.