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Update on the Camden Coalition’s randomized controlled trial

October 12, 2015

In 2014, the Camden Coalition began working with health economists at MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab to conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluating the impact of our care management initiatives. The care management teams work to reduce patients’ unnecessary readmissions and their associated costs by helping high-utilizers meet their complex needs with an intensive, multidisciplinary, team-based intervention.

Led by noted economist Dr. Amy Finkelstein, this “gold standard” study will analyze the effect of care management on participants’ hospital readmission rate, compared to that of a control group receiving routine care.

Using real-time hospital data from the Camden Health Information Exchange, potential participants are identified as possible “super-utilizers” of Camden’s health care system — individuals with complex, chronic issues that cause high rates of hospital readmission.

Our hospital-based enrollment staff, Audrey Hendricks and Marisol Velazquez, meet eligible patients at the hospital bedside to tell them about our care management program and RCT. This fall, Hendricks and Velazquez recruited the study’s 400th participant, marking halfway to the RCT’s goal of enrolling 800 patients.

Researchers will follow participants’ hospital utilization for the year after their enrollment to demonstrate the effects of the Coalition’s intervention on health outcomes, health care use and cost, and psychosocial outcomes.

The Coalition’s RCT is one of few to focus on health care delivery for super-utilizers. The results of this rigorous study will add to a body of research to help health care providers and payers create more effective and efficient health care delivery systems.

For more information on the RCT:

Scientific American: How House Calls Slash Health Care Costs

NPR’s Marketplace: Diagnosis Camden

Freakonomics Radio: How Do We Know What Really Works in Health Care?


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