The UCM Digital Health team goes above and beyond to help a patient dealing with anxiety and other life challenges.
Carlos is a 25-year-old man who suffers from severe anxiety. He has dealt with it on and off since he was a teenager, but life challenges this past year have just been a lot for him to handle and are pushing his limits. His stress level has been high, and he has started to have panic attacks often. When he is in need of help, he calls 911, as that’s the only way he knows he can get immediate care. He doesn’t know what doctor to see or where to go, and even if he did, he’s not sure how he would get there. He at least knows that 911 can send someone to check in on him. And they can do it quickly.
Carlos had called 911 a few times in the past 2 weeks. Both times, when EMS arrived, they took him to the emergency room to get care. After countless hours of waiting in ER waiting rooms and medical bills piling up, Carlos is still dealing with intense levels of anxiety.
The next time Carlos called 911, EMS was dispatched to his location, a friend’s house that he was staying at. This time, rather than transporting Carlos to the ER again, the paramedic called UCM Digital Health. The paramedic gave the UCM emergency medicine-trained physician background information on the patient. A minute later, the physician joined Carlos and the paramedic via video for a consultation.
In talking to Carlos and observing his surroundings, the doctor identified gaps in care and social determinants of health. Carlos had no primary care provider, no therapist, and no psychiatrist. He didn’t have a phone or a reliable means of transportation. His unique situation made him far more susceptible to going without the right kind of care. Once the UCM provider determined this, he knew that there was even more that the UCM Digital Health team could do for this patient, above and beyond treating his immediate mental health concerns.
The UCM physician refilled Carlos’s prescription for anxiety that he had gotten previously while in the ER. Now knowing that he had no transportation, the EMS team offered to transport him to the nearest pharmacy to pick up his prescription so that he would not have to go without it for long. While he was there, Carlos also purchased a pre-paid phone.
The physician reassured Carlos that he can call UCM Digital Health for his physical and mental health care needs in the future. He does not need to rely on 911. Now Carlos knows that he can be treated right in his location, saving time and the cost of going to the ER again.
As a follow-up from his visit that day, the UCM care coordinator contacted his health plan to get him in touch with a case manager for added, ongoing support for his needs. With UCM on his side, he no longer has to navigate the health care system on his own anymore.
With involvement from UCM and their collaboration with EMS, and a trip to the ER was avoided, Carlos got immediate care and assistance for his needs, and now he has more support in place for the future.