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Mobile healthcare: West Allis Fire Dept. making home visits

 CBS 58 first told you about fire departments across Milwaukee county changing how they do business.

West Allis is one of five departments in the county trying to reduce preventable 911 calls and improve care for patients.

The West Allis Fire Department now regularly visits 29 patients.

The idea is to keep frequent 911 callers out of the emergency room for problems that aren't true emergencies.

The mobile healthcare initiative's principals include educating, navigating, and patient advocacy. 

Since 2013, the 29 patients the department now checks in on amounted for 857 calls for service, 596 ER visits, and 571 med unit hours.

Many of the patients the department deals with are elderly or have behavioral issues.

They said that costs the tax payers, patients, hospitals, and the department.

The fire department added that since they started making these home visits in January, the people they're checking up on haven't called 911 at all.

After 90 days of doing home visits, the department will take a look at final results to really figure out the pros and cons.

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