As discussions around how to make health care work better for everyone continue to evolve, one man in New Jersey is putting improvement into practice – and that practice is finding its way to Aurora. Inspired by what he called an "unbelievable disregard for human life," the 2001 murder of a student in Camden, New Jersey led Dr. Jeff Brenner down the road of innovation, identifying and implementing new ways to care for the patients who cost the most to care for, and who had significant needs. Brenner's approach, known as hot-spotting, was in response to the glaring problem that one percent of Camden's patients resulted in one-third of its health care costs.
Fast forward 11 years and 1,800 miles west to the Colorado Health Symposium, where Brenner delivered the keynote address, highlighting gross and entirely avoidable inequities in our health system. Citing broken delivery systems and disorganized care, Brenner outlines with unusual specificity and clarity how we can identify the highest-need patients, reorganize care to meet their needs, and transition those patients to getting the care they need to get and stay healthy – potentially with huge cost savings.
In the somber wake of the horrendous theatre shootings, this hot-spotting approach is coming to Aurora, one of four sites nationally to host this transformational model. As reported in Health Policy Solutions, recent data shows that almost half of frequent emergency room visits – often the most expensive and least efficient kind of care – come from just two zip codes in the Aurora community. The three-year effort is getting underway with the help of two Project Health Colorado partners, including Together Colorado and the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved, which works with Aurora Health Access on community engagement.
Read more about this exciting new development, and its implications for improving access to health for traditionally underserved communities in Aurora, at Health Policy Solutions: Hotspotting Revolution Comes to Aurora.
What do you think of hot-spotting and other innovative approaches to health care? Share your ideas at www.projecthealthcolorado.org.