New report explores successes and challenges of programs for high-needs patients

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A new report, conducted by the Center for State Health Policy at Rutgers University and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), highlights the successes and challenges of six health care programs around the country dedicated to serving high-needs patients.

The report is the result of a series of interviews with clinical and administrative staffs of six pilot programs funded by RWJF’s Aligning Forces for Quality initiative. The pilots adapted strategies employed by the Camden Coalition in caring for “super-utilizers” – patients with frequent and ineffective emergency department and inpatient hospitalizations – to their own communities.

The six sites were highly diverse, representing both urban and rural settings, a wide range of organizational structures, a variety of disciplines in clinical leadership and integration into broader systems, and variable availability of health care services and other resources in the communities they served.

The report details the programs’ responses to challenges in:

  • Engaging patients
  • Integrating social services
  • Integrating behavioral health services
  • Recruiting and retaining staff
  • Maintaining relationships with primary care providers
  • Sustaining programs

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