Original Article: www.phillymag.com/articles/smartest-people-philadelphia/5/

Jeffrey Brenner

The Health-Care Revolutionary
Brenner—physician and founder of Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers—has worked for 10 years to get better care for the underserved in his city. His group’s focus on primary-care reform, home visits and “health coaches” for the chronically ill has drastically lowered medical costs in Camden.

  • On the goal: “To fix health care in Camden. To make Camden the first city in the country to bend the cost curve and improve quality at the whole-city level.”
  • On the scope of this thing: “This isn’t a problem of fixing poverty. This is a problem of stopping making excuses for an expensive, poorly run health system. And hey, everyone: It’s not just Camden—you’re all getting disorganized care.”
  • On methods: “We’re deep in primary offices, helping them rethink how they deliver care. Things like building electronic registries of all patients, so if Mr. Jones hasn’t been back to deal with his diabetes in six months, you know about it. It triggers reminders, so you’re managing the population of patients. And group visits: Instead of a doctor running from room to room in 10-m­inute increments, you can bring 15 diabetics together in one room and spend an hour and a half with them.”
  • On the model: “I don’t think there’s the Camden model; I think there’s the Camden philosophy. We have values, a mission, and try to focus on active problem-solving. I don’t want the message to be that it’s a one-size-fits-all thing. Data-based, local problem-solving is what people need to do.”

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