November 15, 2017

Movement unites healthcare and social services to more efficiently serve individuals with complex health and social needs

The National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs kicks off its second annual Putting Care at the Center conference with Kaiser Permanente today in Los Angeles. A broad range of clinicians, researchers, policymakers, and healthcare consumers are arriving downtown to share ideas and develop models to transform healthcare by better serving individuals with complex needs, most of whom are covered by Medicaid. The conference launches tonight at 6 pm with a cocktail reception and features keynote speakers Andy Slavitt on Thursday and America Bracho on Friday.

“Healthcare leaders get together all the time, but rarely to talk about how we can innovate to meet the needs of patients who have difficulty accessing care because of social or economic challenges,” said keynote speaker Andy Slavitt, who ran the Affordable Care Act and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2015 to 2017. “The stakeholders who have come together here in Los Angeles are looking beyond the traditional bounds of medicine to address barriers to good health for people with complex needs. In many ways, there is no more important priority in healthcare.”

The conference’s goal is to further the field of complex care and to foster an engaged community to develop this work and teach it to others. Despite spending far more than other developed countries on healthcare, the United States lags on key health outcome metrics, including life expectancy and infant mortality. In the U.S., just five percent of the people account for 50% of healthcare expenditures, and many are Medicaid recipients with complex health and social needs. A large proportion of health outcomes are linked to the conditions in which individuals live, work, and play, but the U.S. spends far less than other developed countries on social services.

Former ABC and NPR correspondent Jackie Judd will host plenary panels on coalescing the field of complex care, healthcare consumer leadership, learning from parallel social movements, and lessons from complex care in California. Ms. Judd is now Vice President and Executive Producer of Multimedia at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Among the workshop, offerings are discussions on applying learnings from the field of law enforcement and the entertainment industry to healthcare. The conference will also feature a Beehive space that invites conference participants to dream big, share ideas, and dialogue with allies and collaborators working to build a national field and movement around complex care.

Putting Care at the Center is the annual conference of the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AARP, and The Atlantic Philanthropies. The National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs is building the field of complex care by helping organize and foster partnerships, identifying resources, and developing training tools to transform how care is delivered. The National Center is an initiative of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, a New Jersey nonprofit healthcare innovator. Its local roots inform its approach to working with organizations across the country that serve individuals with complex health and social needs in their own communities.

“We’re encouraging conference participants to bring their own experiences to Los Angeles, to further the field of complex care by engaging and sharing knowledge with our panelists, our speakers, and with each other,” said National Center Senior Director Mark Humowiecki. “We’ve come together in the center of an incredibly diverse and vibrant metropolis to build a movement that will transform the way healthcare and social services are delivered to people for whom the system isn’t currently working.”

Download the press release