Objective: The aim of the present study was to improve the health care of people repeatedly admitted to private hospitals.
Method: An open trial in which frequent utilizers were offered telephone case management over a 12 month period, was conducted.
Results: An average of 24 phone calls were made to the 99 who remained in the programme for the 12 months. Psychological distress declined significantly over the 12 months, and the number of days in hospital was reduced compared to the previous year. The cost benefit ratio was 1:8.4.
Conclusions: The changes in well-being and hospitalization over the 12 months were substantial and are unlikely to be due to regression to the mean. A prospective randomized controlled trial comparing telephone case management with treatment as usual is indicated.