Can case management interventions reduce the number of emergency department visits by frequent users?

Health Care Manag (Frederick). 2006 Apr-Jun;25(2):155-9. doi: 10.1097/00126450-200604000-00008.


This study examined the impact of nurse case management interventions on the number of visits of frequent users of a level 1, urban Emergency Department that sees over 70,000 patient visits per year. Frequent users, defined as those having over 3 visits in a month, were tracked before and after implementation of nurse case management interventions designed to reduce their visit rate. It is a 50-patient pilot study and data collection includes whether or not the patient had a primary care provider, the patient's age and gender, insurance status, and the type of case management interventions including medical social work, community referrals, referrals to primary care providers, and limitation of narcotic prescriptions. Based on statistical tests, pre and post case management interventions suggest that case management interventions do not make a statistically significant reduction in the overall number of visits. This is a medically vulnerable patient group whose visits add to the contemporary problem of Emergency Department overcrowding. The ability of case management interventions to reduce the volume of visits and associated impact on reducing Emergency Department overcrowding was not proven.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case Management*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Research
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Hospitals, Urban
  • Humans
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Service, Hospital*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Primary Health Care
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Regression Analysis
  • Social Work
  • Utilization Review