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Follow Up + Emergency Departments

Safe and effective care transitions from a hospital inpatient or emergency department setting are essential in the provision of high quality care and the reduction of repeat hospitalizations.

Follow-Up saves lives and is clearly aligned with trends in health care.

Affordable Care Act


Providers are increasingly focused on the development of effective care transition practices, due in part to changes in reimbursement related to excess readmissions under the Affordable Care Act. The opportunity to achieve high-value health care has resulted in the emergence of transitional care programs as a high priority under health reform.


National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP)


The 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP) reflects increased awareness of the specific interventions that may be most effective for suicide prevention as well as an increased recognition of the importance of implementing suicide prevention efforts in a comprehensive and coordinated way.


Zero Suicide


Follow-Up services (or Care Transitions) are a central component of the Zero Suicide initiative of the National Action Alliance. Within a systematic approach to quality improvement, Zero Suicide requires a system-wide effort to improve outcomes and close gaps and places a focus on the importance of effective care transitions especially after acute care.


Save Lives

The federal government recognizes the benefits of follow-up services for emergency departments.

  • The NIMH’s RFA-Suicide Prevention in Emergency Medicine Departments recognizes the emergency department (ED) as an important setting to increase suicide detection and prevention efforts but observes that evidence-based practice guidelines do not exist. In response, the Emergency Department Safety Assessment and Follow-up Evaluation (ED-SAFE) trial was designed.
  • The Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP), created by Section 3026 of the Affordable Care Act, tests models for improving care transitions from the hospital to other settings and reducing readmissions for high-risk Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Section 223 of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) (PL-113-93) criteria 4.f.2 states that, based on the needs assessment, “states must establish a minimum set of evidence-based practices required of the CCBHCs.”
  • A 2016 Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert aims to assist all health care organizations providing both inpatient and outpatient care to better identify and treat individuals with suicide ideation.


Save Resources

Follow-Up saves resources.

Return on Investment Post-Discharge Follow-up Calls

A study to determine the return on investment (ROI) for providing post-discharge follow-up calls to patients at risk of suicide showed and estimated ROI

For Hospital Discharges:

For ED Discharges:


More than 150 crisis centers currently participate in the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. Each center receives calls from designated areas of the country, creating a nationwide coverage area.

Learn more about how partnerships with local centers enhance follow-up.