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The Honorable Bill Wells, Candidate for Assembly, AD 77

May 25, 2010

As a Conservative I am frustrated by the overwhelming push to have government be the solution to all problems. So I was happy to read a story of a novel approach taken by a Sacramento Hospital to limit their own exposure to waste and abuse of their resources.

This hospital decided to send a Social Worker to visit any person who visited the ER more than three times in a month. What they found was that these people often had no emergent medical problems at all. So what were the real problems then? Homelessness, addictions and mental illnesses were the predominant complaints. So what to do? How can you force people to utilize the ER appropriately?

The hospital realized that for this to occur they had to be innovative and proactive. They decided to offer a low cost and more appropriate alternative to expensive ER treatment. They provided options of clinics, programs and shelters that provided real solutions at a fraction of the costs. The bottom line is that the hospital is now saving approximately $2 million per year.

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