The Good News Care Center in Association With Homestead and Baptist Hospitals in Florida Has Launched the ER Diversion Program to Provide Relief to Over Populated Emergency Rooms in South Florida Hospitals

Apr 12, 2011, 06:50 ET from The Good News Care Center

MIAMI, April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Good News Care Center has launched their ER Diversion Program to provide relief for over populated emergency rooms in main South Florida Hospitals. The program is held initially in accordance with Homestead and Baptist Hospitals.

"Due to low incomes and no health insurance many patients seek care in local emergency rooms and patients with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, return multiple times to the ER," explains Michael Daily, CEO of Good News Care Center. "One of the programs that we can achieve through the operating support we receive from Baptist Health of South Florida is our ER Diversion which is designed to bring assistance to emergency rooms, while providing preventive and comprehensive care at no charge to eligible patients."

Receiving uninsured patients is an ongoing operational and financial difficulty for hospital systems, and Baptist Health Care of South Florida understands this. With over 50 million Americans without insurance, more than 600,000 in Miami-Dade, preventive and controlled care is almost impossible to get. The only option available to many low income patients is to repeatedly use the local emergency rooms.

Elva Diaz, Diabetes Nurse Educator at Homestead Hospital explains: "Hospitals can save money by referring patients to free clinics since waiting to seek medical care when their health is severe can be extremely dangerous. Without an ER Diversion program patients keep returning to the hospital re-admissions because they cannot afford medical care or medications."

According to the agency for Health Care Administration rates, 20.9% of patients that attend emergency rooms at Homestead Hospital go uncompensated. The Good News Care Center provides hospitals with the opportunity to allow patients to have a primary care center. With the ER Diversion program, readmission decreases, allowing Homestead Hospital to care for more patients and decrease the costs of default patients. On a monthly basis Homestead Hospital sends anywhere from 10-15 patients to the Good News Care Center.

"Elva Diaz, Diabetes Nurse Educator and Bill Duquette, CEO of Homestead Hospital, enlisted our assistance in providing efficacious maintenance care for improving patients' quality of life and outcomes, and that means much more than simply staying out of the hospital," said Dr. Carlos Meitzner, Medical Director for the Good News Care Center.

Miami-Dade's Good News Care Center is a clinic ministry owned by the Miami Baptist Association, in 2010, the Good News Care Center treated over 4,000 enrolled uninsured patients through more than 10,300 clinical visits, which produced over $8,800,000 in value of free care. The clinic operates through the collaborative efforts of Baptist Health South Florida, who is the clinic's principal resource provider, Health Foundation of South Florida, Full Deliverance Baptist Church of Florida City, the University of Miami Pediatric Mobile Clinic, Nova Southeastern University Health Professions Division, and a host of medical groups, specialists and private donors.

SOURCE The Good News Care Center