Emergency Room Diversion Grant Program

Emergency Room Diversion Grant Program (ER Diversion): Findings from States Establishing Non-Emergency Service Providers – State Summaries

Section 6043 of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 authorized $50 million in Federal grants to states to establish non-emergency service providers or networks of such providers.  States were encouraged to apply for grant funds to implement projects that would:

  • establish new community health centers;
  • extend the hours of operation at existing clinics;
  • educate beneficiaries about new services; and
  • provide for electronic health information exchange between facilities for better coordination of care.

States participating in the ER Diversion program were: CO, CT, GA, IL, IN, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, NC, ND, NJ, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, WA.

Funds were made available for over a four year period (FY 2006-2009).  CMS released one solicitation on August 15, 2007 available for all four years.  Priority was given to applicants targeting medically-underserved areas whose emergency department utilization rate for non-urgent issues exceeded the state average and to those states who proposed collaboration with local community hospitals.  On April 17, 2008, Emergency Room (ER) Diversion Grants were awarded to 20 state Medicaid agencies, for a total of 29 projects. Grantees requested and received approval for a 12 month-no-cost extension, which extended their performance periods to April 2011.  Final reports to CMS were due July 2011.  

On March 21, 2012, CMS held a teleconference with grantees to discuss the results of their efforts.  Twenty-three grantees representing 13 of the 20 participating states took part in the teleconference.  Attendees discussed various ER diversion strategies implemented during the performance period, including urban versus rural approaches. Toward the end of the teleconference, a grantee suggested—and all agreed—that CMS would design and provide a single page template for each of the 20 states to complete as a high level summary on the strategies, findings and sustainability of their individual grant programs.  In total, 12 states sent in summary templates representing 16 individual ER Diversion projects.

For more information, see the ER Diversion state summaries (if provided) and contact information for each state program.