‘Hotspotting’ Study Stirs Debate About Social Determinants with Chart: Health Care ‘Hotspotting’ Program Shows Little Effect on Medically Complex Patients

In the health care industry, it’s become almost dogma that a small number of “superutilizers” — typically patients with complex medical and social challenges — are driving a disproportionate share of costs in the system. But a newly published study suggests that efforts to improve care and lower costs associated with those individuals aren’t always as effective as they’re heralded to be. And some think that should serve as a gut check for how organizations like health insurers think about social determinants of health.

The subject of the study in question is the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, which convened health systems, primary care officers, community organizations and other stakeholders in a bid to test whether short-term, intensive care management would help reduce the cost of caring for some of the hardest-to-treat patients after they’re discharged from the hospital.

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Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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