Emergency Room Enhancement Program
Health care professionals throughout Missouri have seen an increase in the number of individuals seeking help for behavioral health concerns in hospital emergency departments (EDs), where they are often stabilized and released or discharged without being offered assistance in obtaining preventative follow-up care within their community. This practice leads to an increase of return ED visits among this high-utilizing population.
To address this service gap, the Missouri Department of Mental Health provides funding to seven regions across the state for the Emergency Room Enhancement Program (ERE). Areas designated for ERE projects were Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia, Hannibal, St. Louis, Rolla and Poplar Bluff and encompass 50 of Missouri’s 114 counties. Each of the seven regions have partnered with local hospitals, community mental health centers, law enforcement agencies, substance use treatment facilities, and social service providers to coordinate care for the whole person by addressing behavioral, physical, and basic needs.
The primary goals of ERE are to prevent repeated ED visits and hospitalizations, as well as increase rates of housing, employment, and education enrollment.