Healthcare Innovation Leaders Release the Blueprint for Complex Care at 3rd Annual “Putting Care at the Center” Conference in Chicago

Building the complex care field

December 6, 2018

The only annual national conference in America on complex care brings together leaders and organizations furthering the field of complex care for three days of workshops, presentations, and convenings

 More than 25 influential organizations have endorsed the Blueprint for Complex Care, a framework for the new field of complex care authored by the National Center, the Center for Health Care Strategies and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Chicago – The National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs and its partners released the Blueprint for Complex Care today at its third annual Putting Care at the Center conference in Downtown Chicago. The Blueprint for Complex Care, a guide for advancing the field of complex care, presents a comprehensive picture of the field and a set of recommendations for building on existing work. Putting Care at the Center is the only annual national conference on complex care in America.

“It’s our hope that the Blueprint will drive the strategy to advance the emerging field of complex care, and provide actionable recommendations based on strong data and shared experience,” said Mark Humowiecki, director of the National Center, an initiative of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers. “The American healthcare system is beginning to recognize that people suffering from multiple chronic illnesses along with serious social barriers to care like homelessness aren’t benefiting from one-size-fits-all solutions. It’s going to take many organizations working together in the same direction to advance the field of complex are, and the Blueprint is a framework to do that.”

A growing list of more than 25 leading organizations in healthcare innovation, policy, and delivery from across the country have endorsed the Blueprint as Complex Care Champions. The diverse list includes Johns Hopkins Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, and the National Governors Association. The Blueprint was authored by the National Center, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) with support from The Commonwealth Fund, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and The SCAN Foundation. This broad coalition of support for the Blueprint’s principles and recommendations signals a coming of age for the field of complex care as an integral component of the future of American healthcare.

Complex care seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of a relatively small, heterogenous group of individuals who repeatedly cycle through multiple healthcare, social service, and other systems but do not derive lasting benefit from those interactions. Despite spending far more than other developed countries on healthcare, the United States lags on key health outcome metrics, including life expectancy and maternal health. In the U.S., just five percent of the people account for 50 percent of healthcare expenditures, and many are Medicaid recipients with complex health and social needs. As much as 40 percent of health outcomes are linked to the conditions in which we live, work, and play, but the U.S. spends far less than its peers on social services.

“The Blueprint for Complex Care and the Putting Care at the Center conference are important steps in the evolution of complex care from an idea into a field, and finally into the mainstream of our healthcare system,” said RWJF Senior Program Officer Susan Mende. “The power of these projects is not just in the planning, but in the partnerships themselves.”

The conference kicked off this morning with a welcome from Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers CEO Kathleen Noonan, followed by a panel discussion on the Blueprint with leaders from the three authoring organizations. Former ABC and NPR correspondent Jackie Judd will host plenary panels on the power of partnerships in healthcare transformation, uncertainty as the norm in healthcare, and the next generation of movement builders. In her keynote tomorrow, Caring Across Generations Co-Director and National Domestic Workers Alliance Executive Director Ai-jen Poo will discuss the parallels between complex care and other successful movements to transform care. Poo’s accomplishments as an innovator organizing for system transformation earned her a 2014 MacArthur “genius” Grant.

Putting Care at the Center is co-hosted this year by Rush University Medical Center and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with generous support from the Peterson Center on Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, the American Hospital Association, California Health Care Foundation, NowPow, and Cityblock.

“At Rush, we’ve demonstrated effective ways to address complex needs our patients and families face, and collaborate with the community to achieve better health outcomes,” said Rush University Medical Center’s Associate Vice President of Population Health and Aging, Robyn Golden. “We’re pleased to bring together the field of complex care right here in our backyard. There are so many people for whom the system isn’t working and there are no easy answers, but by working together, we can transform healthcare in America.”

Download the press release