Forced to sharply cut the amount of charity care it provides, the University of Texas Medical Branch and some area social agencies are increasingly using preventive measures to keep patients out of emergency rooms and hospitals beds and to reduce the costs of health care.
Measures including counseling programs and nutrition classes may be the best hope for thousands of chronically ill and uninsured people and may help stretch a dwindling pool of charity care dollars. But reducing health care costs isn’t the only benefit, providers said.
"It improves quality of lives," said Dr. Ben Raimer, senior vice president of health policy and legislative affairs for the medical branch. "People do get well. They do go back to work."
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