Colorado Community

A Bridge across Emergency Rooms That Leads to Better Health for Aurora’s Poor

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
02/27/15  11:40 PM PST
Helping navigate the health care system

By Quincy Snowdon, Staff Writer for the Aurora Sentinel

AURORA | For participants of the Bridges to Care program, the difference is in the ears. Or at least the direction in which they’re pointed.

“This is the first time I’ve had someone who listens like that,” said Norma Armistead, a recent Bridges to Care graduate. “In the past, with any doctor, if you ask them something they change the subject. But my nurse practitioner now, if I have a question, she will answer it.”

Armistead, who has been living in a Colfax motel for the past five years, is one of the over 100 Bridges to Care patients who graduated from the six-month program during a ceremony at the Summit Conference and Event Center on Feb. 4. Run through the Metro Community Provider Network, Bridges to Care, or B2C, provides 60 days of free, in-home care for uninsured or Medicare/Medicaid-insured individuals who are frequent users of hospital emergency rooms.

The victim of a chronically bad back, a foot that has required multiple surgeries and sufferer of diabetes, Armistead said she was visiting the hospital about twice a week before being enrolled in the B2C program, racking up thousands of dollars in hospital bills that she was unable to pay. She said the program helped her find a primary care provider to reduce her hospital visits, which has greatly helped reduce her stress — a result grounded in her caretakers’ empathy.

“It makes it a lot easier with a lot less stress,” she said. “It made me feel like someone really cares.”

Armistead was chosen to participate in the program by hospital staff who recommend patients for the program based on hospital and emergency room visits — a practice often referred to as “hotspotting.”

Read the Full Article at the Aurora Sentinel.