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Identifying, Engaging and Breaking Down Patient Barriers To Reduce Avoidable ED Use, a 45-minute webinar on June 6, 2012, now available for replay
Identifying, Engaging and Breaking Down Patient Barriers To Reduce Avoidable ED Use, a 45-minute webinar on June 6, 2012, now available for replay
Identifying, Engaging and Breaking Down Patient Barriers To Reduce Avoidable ED Use, a 45-minute webinar on June 6, 2012, now available for replay
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A community-based approach that identifies and breaks down barriers to using the emergency room as a usual source of care among targeted populations is helping UPMC Health Plan reduce emergency department visits.

During Identifying, Engaging and Breaking Down Patient Barriers To Reduce Avoidable ED Use, a 45-minute webinar on June 6, 2012, now available for replay, Debra Smyers, senior director of program development at UPMC Health Plan, shares the inside details on the five-pronged approach UPMC developed to target avoidable ED visits. You will learn the steps UPMC has taken, including:

  • Placing a care navigator in the emergency department as the first line of defense for reducing future avoidable ED visits;
  • Using real-time data from the ED to improve the process of patient outreach and engagement, while identifying barriers to appropriate healthcare utilization;
  • Addressing the unique needs of members with physical health and behavioral health concerns;
  • Sending community-based teams into the homes of patients who are difficult to engage to shore up the process; and
  • Using a pay-for-performance approach to reducing avoidable ED visits.

Smyers also shares the impact each of these initiatives has had on reducing avoidable ED visits.

Have questions on our webinar formats? Visit our webinar FAQ.

You can listen to this program right in your office and enjoy significant savings no travel time or hassle; no hotel expenses. It's so convenient! Invite your staff members to gather around a conference table to watch the program.


CEOs, medical directors, disease management directors, managers and coordinators, case management executives, case managers, health plan executives, care management nurses, physician executives and business development and strategic planning directors.


Debra Smyers is the senior director, program development for Medicaid, Special Needs Plan, and CHIP at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Health Plan in Pittsburgh, Pa.

In her role as senior director, Ms. Smyers develops and implements clinical programs to support the unique needs of these three products. The programs are structured to address the holistic needs of the members, including physical, behavioral health, and social needs. She has been involved in the development and implementation of the Patient Centered Medical Home for UPMC Health Plan.

Ms. Smyers has over 20 years of experience as a healthcare administrator in a managed care environment. She has had experience in quality improvement and the management of chronic conditions and promoting preventive health. Ms. Smyers has worked with many community agencies to help support the social needs of the members. She has developed programs that have improved the Health Plans rates for the Health Plan Employer Data Information Set (HEDIS) measures and met the standards for National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

Ms. Smyers holds a Bachelor of Science Registered Nurse degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Publication Date: June 6, 2012
Number of Pages: 45-minute webinar
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