NJ Spotlight, December 21, 2018

Lessons learned in caring for residents with highly complex health challenges in Camden and other New Jersey cities — have now been woven into a national playbook that seeks to help organizations everywhere improve clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction while better controlling the cost of care.

The National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs, an initiative of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, unveiled the Blueprint for Complex Care earlier this month during its annual conference, held this year in Chicago. The center developed the guide with national partners based in part on new healthcare models — like Accountable Care Organizations, which seek to better meet a full range of health and social needs; these are now in use in several urban communities here; other input came from projects with similar goals in other parts of the country.

The 64-page blueprint outlines many of the barriers that currently prevent patients from getting effective care for their complex healthcare needs such as physical and behavioral health issues, plus social challenges like homelessness or poverty. It provides detailed recommendations and resources to help organizations build integrated systems to improve patient care and their quality of life. Effective complex care involves services ranging from clinical treatments and medication to housing, employment, nutrition, transportation and legal services, experts note.

Story written by LILO H. STAINTON.

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