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“‘Super-utilizer’ Medicare, Medicaid patients weigh heavily on hospitals”

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This February 19, 2015 article on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website talks about a part of Medicare and Medicaid patients referred to as “Super-users” because they typically are admitted to the hospital 5 or more times per year with one of the most common reasons being mental health issues.

“Keeping people out of hospitals makes system healthier”

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This November 5, 2014 The Morning Call article found on the InsuranceNews.net website talks about efforts being made with help from a grant to try to decrease the excessive use of the emergency department by a small percentage of patients.  The term used to describe this population according to the article is “Super-utilizer” because of how often they use services.  The goal of the program is to find ways to help this population prevent trips to the hospital by looking at things like social supports, housing and other things not traditionally looked at by the medical community when treating a patient. in short the focus is on prevention.

A reminder that history repeats itself if let it

eBook Link (free to download and read)

This eBook titled “A Plea for the Insane in the Prisons and Poor-houses of Pennsylvania” By Pennsylvania. State Board of Public Welfare, was published in 1873 and has documents  about the arguments being made at that time to move people with mental illnesses out of prisons and poor houses and into state hospitals.  I haven’t finished reading it yet, but what I have read could easily be seen in today’s media as we debate over how people with mental illnesses should be treated.  At the time this book was written, state hospitals were the solution that society had come up with, but over time society decided that state hospitals were not the answer, but community based treatment was the answer.  So community based became the target treatment option, but society opted not to properly fund it or expand it so that the community based services could meet the demand.  So now society is sitting back scratching their heads completely baffled that people with mental illnesses would be ending up warehoused in jails and prisons.  There is now a trend that seems to show to me that the pendulum is swinging back in the direction of state hospitals as the answer to the problem.   I have to ask why we as a society are repeatedly making the same decisions and consistently expecting a different outcome?  I feel that state hospitals and prisons are opposite extremes when it comes to solutions, and that while both serve a purpose, neither is an adequate solution.  The bills I’m seeing proposed seem to focus on the needs and desires of the families of the mentally ill and neglect to acknowledge that the person with the illness is the one who is getting bounced around by society’s whims.  Yes, families are affected, but I also know that forced treatment is a short-term solution to a crisis …. it is NOT a long-term solution.  Assisted Outpatient Treatment is a politically correct way of candy coating forced or coerced treatment.  I strongly suggest that people look over the history of the decisions made by society before jumping on board with any of the bills being proposed.  History can teach us valuable lessons if we listen.

This book is also available in printed paperback  from Amazon by clicking this link “A Plea for the Insane in the Prisons and Poor-Houses”  (costs about $16 for the printed version at

Location map of Pennsylvania, USA

Location map of Pennsylvania, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the time of this post)

“York Hospital Auxiliary pledges $1 million to behavioral health unit”

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This April 16, 2014 article on the York Dispatch website talks about the York Hospital Auxiliary’s recent pledge to give $1 million to help add several mental health treatment rooms in the York Hospital’s emergency department.

English: York Hospital Front entrance

English: York Hospital Front entrance (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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“Saint Vincent to close outpatient behavioral health unit in Erie”

Article Link

In an article dated September 30, 2011 on the GoErie.com website, Saint Vincent’s Hospital has decided to close their outpatient mental health clinic, but not before assuring that their clients have access to services through other agencies.  They indicate that  this will not effect the inpatient mental health unit.

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