Ending the bounce-back

charity care


Social services supervisor Rasheedah Carkhum and heart failure transition manager Denise Lowman-Kedzierski helped the patient get back on track with regular doctor appointments, ending the vicious cycle of repeat visits to Emory University Hospital’s ER, followed each time by a week-long hospitalization.

 

Charity Care

Ending the bounce-back

The kind of thing a family would do

Looking at the individual


With many social barriers to managing her life and getting to places she needed to go to, 30-year-old Joyce Hampton missed appointments at Emory’s Heart Failure Center and was unable to keep her Medicaid coverage recertified.

Without medicines, her condition worsened. Without recertification, Medicaid cancelled her coverage. Once, twice, three times, Emory Healthcare covered the costs of Joyce’s emergency room (ER) visits and the week of hospitalization that followed. Then it did even more, thanks to a new initiative aimed at helping break the dangerous cycle in which patients fall out of the health care system and then “bounce back” to the ER for rescue.

Joyce had developed debilitating congestive heart failure shortly after giving birth to a healthy baby boy. Her husband then filed for divorce and took the baby with him. Joyce moved in with her mother, who was angry and dysfunctional, frequently “misplacing” her daughter’s medicines and refusing to take her to the doctor.

Heart failure is one of the areas within Emory Healthcare that recently hired transition managers to help outpatients keep up with their medications and avoid such crises. Recognizing that Joyce’s medical condition would never stabilize in her current living situation, heart failure transition manager Denise Lowman-Kedzierski and Emory University Hospital social services supervisor Rasheedah Carkhum found an assisted-living home willing to accept the young woman. Emory paid the costs, and the staff at We Care Personal Care Home went the extra mile, not only taking Joyce to medical appointments but also accompanying her to the necessary offices to re-establish Medicaid health coverage and obtain the Social Security disability benefits that would allow her to cover her own living costs.

All in all, getting Joyce medically back on track cost Emory University Hospital more than $30,000 in housing, medications, and unreimbursed emergency department and hospitalization costs. Money well spent, say her doctors. Joyce has not been to the ER since and is well enough to spend some time getting to know her son.


   
   
 
 

Heart failure is one of the areas within Emory Healthcare that recently hired transition managers to help outpatients keep up with their medications and avoid crises.

 


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Community Benefits Report Cover 2011