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Healthcare Super-Users

In 2012, Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services made 96,000 runs in response to 9-1-1 calls. Each year thousands of uninsured people call 9-1-1 and visit emergency rooms as their primary source of health care. To reduce overuse of their service, the department developed CORE: Community Outreach and Resource Efficiency. One aspect of the program places a social worker with emergency room "superusers." The social worker helps identify social issues that contribute to habitual emergency room visits. Andrea Muraskin, field producer, tells us about the irony of CORE that challenges its future. In addition, Jeffrey Brenner, M.D., also joins Sound Medicine for a conversation about health care super users -- typically low-income patients who frequent the emergency room and use lots of expensive health care services. Dr. Brenner won the 2013 MacArthur Fellowship for his research on coordinating health care for super users.