Today I am turning my blog over to Jeff Brown, my former chief of staff and director of the Quality Institute Collaborative to speak directly to you about a critically important program with an approaching deadline. Please consider sharing Jeff’s blog to those who want to improve health care in their communities.
We know that revolving door emergency room care racks up astronomical bills, and focuses our health care dollars on hospitals instead of services in the community. Worse, we know this episodic care simply is bad for patients.
You may know the pioneering work of Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, founder of the Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers. Dr. Brenner worked to get three competing hospitals in his city to share hospital data and he discovered that a high percentage of health care dollars were being used by a relatively small number of patients. In fact, 10 percent of Camden patients are responsible for nearly 75 percent of healthcare costs.
Dr. Brenner’s “hot-spotting” data revealed who was using the hospital most and why. He then set out to develop creative solutions to bring compassionate and patient-centric care to help keep these high utilizers well instead of just patching them up when they got sick.
We need to export Dr. Brenner’s techniques to other communities in our state – and that’s what our new program with the QI Collaborative and the Camden Coalition — supported by The Nicholson Foundation — sets out to do. We are accepting proposals from five New Jersey communities who must apply by February 10. The selected communities will be part of the “hot-spotting” initiative and the Camden group will analyze hospital data in their communities.
Hospitals, FQHCs, public health officials and primary care physicians can apply on behalf of their communities. Local hospitals must participate and be willing to share data that protects the names of patients. The data analysis is the first step toward building new ways to reach and care for people with chronic illnesses, many of them low-income and some perhaps homeless or living with mental illness.
The opportunity for saving health care dollars, and improving health care, is great. Dr. Brenner talks in greater depth about the hot-spotting program to NJ Spotlight. (Insert link) Health care policy experts from around the nation are watching what’s happening in Camden. Dr. Brenner just received a MacArthur “genius” grant. It’s time we start bringing what we’ve learned in Camden to other New Jersey city and communities.
To apply, email: email@example.com