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Benefits for Publicly-Funded Hospitals

A HIPAA-compliant patient cross-referral and scheduling system, our CHConnect solution helps public hospital emergency departments (EDs) reduce their non-urgent patient caseload.


Current Problem 

  • Patient visits at emergency rooms (EDs) have risen every year. From 1997 to 2002, 97 million ED visits surged to nearly 114 million visits annually, while the number of hospital EDs decreased from 4,270 to 4,037.

  • Nearly half of hospitals have reported that they were at or over capacity. ED waiting times have increased by 33%. About 40% of hospitals reported that they had diverted emergency patients to other presumably less crowded facilities.

  • Ironically, anywhere between 10 and 50% of all ED visits are for non-urgent and avoidable conditions, and the medically underserved are more likely to make such visits.

  • Community health clinics (CHCs) are a viable means to alleviating the ED problem as they have been able to reduce unnecessary ED visits among all of their patients, not just Medicaid patients, due to improved access to continuous, primary care -- leading to decreased hospitalizations. As a result, communities are able to prevent as many emergencies as possible, treat as many conditions as possible in the CHC primary care facilities, and then use EDs appropriately for emergency cases.

Why Community Health Centers (CHCs)?

  • CHCs are non-profit, community supported health care providers which offer primary and preventive health care services to low-income, underinsured and uninsured families. They offer a sliding fee schedule based on family income.

  • CHCs provide preventive screening and comprehensive care to save money and lives by treating diseases before they become chronic conditions or require hospital care.

  • CHCs rely on a variety of funding sources to support care to the uninsured and underinsured. The largest source of support comes from state and local subsidies, which provide for 39% of the financing for un-reimbursed care. Medicaid provides another 23% of the funds, with the balance consisting of Medicare Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) and Indirect Medical Education payments and funding from other sources.

  • Community health clinics (CHCs) are a viable means to alleviating the ED problem as they have been able to reduce unnecessary ED visits among all of their patients, not just Medicaid patients, due to improved access to continuous, primary care -- leading to decreased hospitalizations. As a result, communities are able to prevent as many emergencies as possible, treat as many conditions as possible in the CHC primary care facilities, and then use EDs appropriately for emergency cases.

  • CHCs, on the other hand, save the Medicaid program 30% in annual spending due to reduced specialty care referrals and fewer hospital admissions. ("A Nation's Health At Risk II, Special Topics Issue Brief #7," National Association of Community Health Centers, August 2004).

  • There are 4,906 CHC sites located throughout the 50 states and serving 15 million people. $2 billion federal dollars are being invested in CHCs. Additional money is requested for creating and expanding CHC sites to serve more people.

Our Solution
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  • Since CHCs are cost-effective healthcare providers and are in the midst of a historic expansion initiative, it makes sense to ensure that their services are fully utilized. Redirecting non-urgent and/or primary care treatable ED visits to them would increase their utilization. By freeing up ED resources, EDs would be able to take on more higher-revenue emergency caseload.

  • Our CHConnect solution is a HIPAA-compliant patient cross-referral and scheduling system. It helps redirect patients from a community's EDs to its CHCs for follow-up primary or specialty care -- to result in reduced non-urgent ED use and produce significant opportunity for increased ED revenues.

  • And no changes are required of your existing IT systems.

Contact Us


We will discuss CHConnect with you, understand your community healthcare needs and verify that CHConnect will indeed help your community and that your organization will achieve ROI for using CHConnect. Contact us now.