Good News Care Center Launches ER Diversion Program

Miami, FL -- The Good News Care Center has launched its 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, which is both costly and inadequate. This is compounded by the fact that patients with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, return multiple times to the ED," 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, preventive and controlled care is almost impossible to get for the uninsured. The only patient option is to attend their local emergency rooms; in many cases, more than once a year.

Elva Diaz, Diabetes Nurse Educator at Homestead Hospital explains: "Hospitals can save money by referring patients to free clinics so that patients get their medical care early. Without an ER Diversion program patients keep returning to the hospital for blood sugar checks and re-admissions because they can't afford medical care or their diabetes medications."

According to the agency for Health Administration rates, 20.9% of patients that attend emergency rooms at Homestead Hospital go uncompensated. The hospital presents thousands in loses per visit. Patients get care, but need to return because there is no preventive or on-going healthcare for illness that require treatment such as chronic illnesses such as diabetes or uncontrolled hypertension and other conditions that need on-going medical care. 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 that means much more than simply staying out of the hospital," says Dr. Carlos Meitzner, Medical Director for the Good News Care Center.

About the Good News Care Center

The Good News Care Center, located in Florida City, houses one full-time staff physician and approximately six doctors who volunteer for services. The Good News Care Center, a clinic ministry owned by the Miami Baptist Association, provides free healthcare to Dade County's uninsured population. In 2010, the Good News Care Center treated over 4,000 enrolled 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 in-kind 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. Since its inception in 1996, the Good News Care Center has received more than $3 million in grants from various foundations and organizations.

For more information, visit Good News Care Center.