Detroit Easing Care Transitions

11 Jul 2013

The Greater Detroit Area Health Council (GDAHC) was recently recognized for its efforts to connect patients with primary care providers. An article published in Crain’s Detroit Business Review explains that the Detroit Alliance has developed a list of federally qualified health centers, free clinics, and physicians that accept Medicaid for emergency room visitors. The goal is to equip patients with more information to reduce hospital readmissions and prevent frequent emergency room visits. 

Sharifa Alcendor, Henry Ford Hospital’s director of strategic community partnerships and access, said the GDAHC provider list will help patients find more appropriate care locations in their neighborhoods. "People go to the emergency department because it's accessible 24/7. However, it's meant for emergency care, not primary care," Alcendor said.

The list of primary care providers will be posted online later this summer for greater access. Posting the information online will allow for more frequent updates that both patients and area hospitals can use. The three Detroit-area hospitals have agreed to modify their discharge instructions to include information on primary care providers close to patients’ homes. GDAHC also has created a poster that helps patients understand what medical problems require emergency room care. The posters can be hung in hospitals, physician offices, employer lunch rooms, grocery stores, and retailer locations.

Kate Kohn-Parrott, CEO of GDAHC, said that although there is a dearth of primary care providers in the Detroit area, a consolidated list will help guide patients get the care they need, in the appropriate setting.