Healthcare hotspotting: A randomized, controlled trial

The Camden Core Model is the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers’ signature care management intervention. As a learning organization, we iterate on the model in light of the challenges we encounter and continually evaluate our impact. From 2014-2017, we partnered with researchers affiliated with J-PAL North America to conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) that would help us learn more about how our model affects patients’ hospital readmissions.

The study, authored by Amy Finkelstein, Co-Scientific Director of J-PAL North America; Annetta Zhou, Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research; Sarah Taubman, Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research; and Joseph Doyle, Co-Chair of J-PAL’s Health sector, found no difference between the treatment and control groups on hospital readmissions within 180 days. It did, however, find a statistically significant rise in the number of participants receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits).

In their discussion, the authors note that the Camden Core Model targets a much more complex population than other care management models evaluated through randomized evaluations. Our population is younger, and our model is designed to serve a population with diverse medical needs and extensive social complexity. Hospitalization rates in both the intervention and control groups are nearly twice the rates in most other programs studied. In addition, the sample size was not large enough to analyze effects on specific sub-groups of patients that might have been impacted differently by our care management intervention.

For more information on this study, including implications for the Camden Coalition and the field of complex care, please visit our Randomized controlled trial page.

Note: to read the full text of the study, please register with nejm.org.

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