OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers announced that Sutter Health's Alta Bates Summit Medical Center has been selected as one of only six organizations in the nation to comprise a Hotspotting Advisory Group. "Hotspotting" is a new tool designed to analyze data that focuses on the most frequent users of community health care resources. The findings will help inform decisions surrounding improved access to care through area clinics and other community partners to better identify and treat patients at risk of a major health event before costly emergency department visits and hospitalizations are necessary.
"Improving patient outcomes and community health is vitally important to hospitals across America, just like Alta Bates Summit," said Jeffrey Brenner, M.D., Executive Director of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers and a 2013 MacArthur "Genius" Award recipient. "The Camden Coalition is partnering with six national communities in an effort to gain insight into how individuals are accessing care by using highly targeted 'hotspotting' research methods. As a part of this project, we are thrilled to have Alta Bates Summit join us in finding the right tools necessary to help address the needs of our communities. Ultimately, we believe these tools will help guide other organizations interested in bridging the gap in accessible health care, education and community engagement."
Throughout the country, a disproportionate concentration of patients account for the majority of health care costs, and experts theorize that hotspotting is a preemptive strike to reduce these costs by reaching out to those patients at greatest risk to better support them and their approach to preventive care. Pioneering hotspotting work in Camden, New Jersey found that just 13 percent of its population accounted for 80 percent of its healthcare costs. Experts at the Camden Coalition found they were able to reduce costs by designing "medical homes" and assigning health coaches to coordinate better care for these patients.
The Healthcare Hotspotting Toolkit, funded through a grant from The Commonwealth Fund, will serve as a validated resource for communities throughout the country looking to implement hotspotting programs. The Camden Coalition has selected six communities, including Sutter Health's Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland and Berkeley, Calif., to form a Hotspotting Advisory Group for the Toolkit and serve as test-users of the materials. The remaining selected communities include: Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington D.C. All six communities participating in the hotspotting research were selected based on their geographic location, population served, and prior experience and expertise working with similar populations. Alta Bates Summit Medical Center will work with the Camden Coalition for a period of 12 months to gather and analyze data then develop patient engagement strategies.
"We know that many people turn to their local emergency department for non-urgent care because they aren't aware of alternatives," said Buzz Stewart, Ph.D., MPH, VP Chief Research and Development at Sutter Health. "Through this project, we hope to work with Emergency Department patients who need non-urgent care and help direct them to primary care providers or clinics near them for more complete care."
To support the connection of patients with more appropriate resources closer to home, Better Health East Bay, the philanthropic organization supporting Alta Bates Summit, is able to fund a portion of this innovative project because of a recent estate gift. This $400,000 legacy gift will help further the research possibilities and mapping technology to produce visual and meaningful analytical data. The program is expected to uncover patterns in how people access health care and identify alternatives for non-urgent care, such as neighborhood clinics.
"Traditionally, health care philanthropy has been focused on building new buildings or acquiring equipment to deliver services," said James Hickman, President and CEO of Better Health East Bay. "Through our participation in initiatives like the Hotspotting Advisory Group, we are actively redesigning our health care philanthropy model to be one that guides how patient care is delivered. Our ultimate goal is to implement targeted, informed, and impactful solutions that reach patients when and where they most need care."
About The Camden Coalition Of Healthcare Providers
The Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers works with health care providers, hospitals, and physician practices to improve the care and coordination of health care for Camden residents while decreasing costs.
About Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
Sutter Health's Alta Bates Summit Medical Center offers comprehensive services designed to meet the health care needs of the diverse communities of the greater East Bay Area. A Tertiary referral center, the medical center is the East Bay's largest private, not-for-profit medical center. Alta Bates Summit's 100-plus year tradition of commitment and service continues today, with recognition as one of the nation's top hospitals for clinical excellence and patient safety. For more information, please visit AltaBatesSummit.org.
About Better Health East Bay
Better Health East Bay is a newly formed philanthropic organization that combines Sutter Health's three current East Bay fundraising foundations at Alta Bates Summit, Eden and Sutter Delta medical centers. Together, they are one, innovative model of health care philanthropy that benefits donors by empowering them to target financial contributions toward making systemic changes in community health. Through our unique philanthropic approach, donors will focus their gifts on programs that address some of the most pressing health care challenges facing our neighborhoods, with a goal of improving the overall health of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.BetterHealthEastBay.org.
About Sutter Health
As the fourth largest, secular, not-for-profit health care system in the country, Sutter Health is a family of more than 50,000 doctors, employees and volunteers who share a partnership promise to create a more personalized, high-value health care experience for patients. Sutter Health's mission extends beyond the walls of care facilities through the investment of community-based services, mobile clinics, transportation services and prevention and wellness programs. Sutter Health believes that health care philanthropy, in the era of health care reform, will evolve as well, becoming more focused on community and preventative health approaches versus emphasis on in-patient treatment. For more information, please visit www.SutterHealth.org.
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
Aaron Truchil, Manager of Research
Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers
(856) 365-9510, Ext. 2021
SOURCE Better Health East Bay; Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers