One of New Jersey’s largest health insurers is pointing to a small experiment in coordinating patient care in Camden as a potential model for similar initiatives elsewhere in the state.

UnitedHealthcare worked closely with the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers to share information and manage care for 16 Medicaid patients in the city.

While the coalition had already facilitated the sharing of information among hospitals, doctors, and other providers in Camden, United was in a position to add information for patients it insures, such as visits made to providers outside the city. This is one of the key ways the partnership differed from earlier attempts.

Another important difference: UnitedHealthcare paid for the aggressive, face-to-face care coordination the coalition is known for.

“The only thing that’s going to work is face-to-face contact . . . to shift resource out of the buildings and out of the cubicles and into the communities,” said Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, who also serves as the medical director for the Cooper Health System’s Urban Health Institute.

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