Reduce Health Costs By Nurturing the Sickest? A Much-Touted Idea Disappoints []


By Dan Gorenstein and Leslie Walker, National Public Radio, January 8, 2020

Improving health and lowering costs for the sickest and most expensive patients in America is a dream harder to realize than many health care leaders had hoped, according to a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers tested whether pairing frequently hospitalized patients in Camden, N.J., with nurses and social workers could stop that costly cycle of readmissions. The study found no effect: Patients receiving extra support were just as likely to return to the hospital within 180 days as those not receiving that help.

The results are a blow to Dr. Jeffrey Brenner and the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, the organization he founded nearly 20 years ago.

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