Can we lower medical costs by giving the neediest patients better care? “The program, Fernandopulle told me, is still discovering new tricks. His team just recently figured out, for instance, that one reason some patients call 911 for problems the clinic would handle better is that they don’t have the clinic’s twenty-four-hour call number at hand when they need it. The health coaches told the patients to program it into their cell-phone speed dial, but many didn’t know how to do that. So the health coaches began doing it for them, and the number of 911 calls fell. High-cost habits are sticky; staff members are still learning the subtleties of unsticking them.”
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