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Mobile Integrated Health Care Eases ER Visits; Weather Could Effect Region; Prices Dip, But Not For Long

Mobile Integrated Health Care Eases ER Visits

The emergency room is becoming a haven for people that either do not have or are not utilizing their primary care physician.  This practice is nationwide and is filling the waiting area with non critical patients.  A program instituted by Western Lane Ambulance District is hoping to reverse the trend and help individuals get back to their primary care providers or at least see a medical professional other than going through the Emergency Room at Peace Harbor Medical center.  The Mobile Integrative Health Care program helps to eliminate emergency room congestion by visiting frequent ER users at their homes.  Matt House with Western Lane Ambulance District says the goal is three fold.

“Preventing 30 day readmission, preventing ER friendly faces and EMS friendly faces.”

Currently the program employees one Critical Care Paramedic that travels to homes on a referral basis from the hospital or doctor.  The program helps to reintegrate patients back to their primary care physicians while also insuring that they receive some care at home.  House says eventually they will have to secure funding to continue the program but for now they are supported locally.

“We were able to secure 200 thousand dollars through Peace Health in donations through the community to sustain our program for 2 years.

The care aspect of the program, according to House, is an important part for wanting the program to succeed, but he says that when it was implemented at Western Lane Ambulance it was as the pilot program for all of Lane County.  The outcomes will affect health care for the region.

Weather Could Effect Region

Early morning snow and sleet could be a cause for alarm on Florence streets.  The icy mix fell in predawn hours covering the roadways.  In Florence the temperature is above freezing and will likely not stick, but as a precautionary measure authorities are encouraging motorists to check conditions before traveling.  126 to Eugene is experiencing freezing temperatures making for possible ice on the roadways.  Conditions are expected to improve as the day progresses.  Temperatures are expected to fall several degrees below freezing this evening and that will also mean another night for the emergency cold weather shelter.  Coast Radio will provide updates throughout the day and evening.

Prices Dip, But Not For Long

For the second week in a row prices at the pump have decreased slightly but that is not expected to hold as crude oil prices have once again gone above the $60 a barrel mark.  Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon says the trend will be for prices to inch up once the current stock of fuel is depleted.  In Florence the current average price for a gallon of regular gasoline has decreased by 4 cents to $2.68.  Winter conditions around the state will also have an effect on pricing as Portland and the Willamette valley are dealing with snow and ice.