Baltimore turns to hospital "violence interrupters" to prevent street violence

Baltimore hospitals are at the center of an attempt to reduce violence across the city, NPR reported.

At a time when hospitals are doing everything from contributing to affordable housing programs to tackling drug abuse at the street level to improve population health--including in Baltimore--the "violence interrupters" program is coming to Baltimore's hospitals, according to NPR.

Under the health department's Safe Street's program, former violent offenders visit with hospitalized patients who have been shot, stabbed or beaten. They try to defuse the situation before there's retaliation on the street. Chicago has a similar program, as does Kansas City. There, homicides dropped 28 percent and stabbings, shootings and similar wonders were down 25 percent to 31 percent, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

Johns Hopkins Hospital had a similar pilot program in place seven years ago, which since has ended, according to the NPR story. The health department is trying to revive the program in six or seven hospitals in Baltimore, hoping the hospitals eventually will pick up the $100,000 annual costs at their institutions.

NPR noted that the National Network of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program succeeded in getting violence prevention workers recognized as healthcare providers, with hopes to eventually have their services reimbursed by Medicaid and other insurers.

To learn more:
- here's the NPR story