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Rutgers leads effort to replicate care management programs in 4 U.S. cities

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. Rutgers Center for State Health Policy (CSHP) will partner with two of New Jersey's most highly regarded health care organizations to bring innovative cost-effective care management programs to four U.S. cities.

CSHP will lead a project to replicate the innovative care management programs of nationally recognized Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Camden, N.J. The Center for Health Care Strategies, Hamilton, N.J., a nonprofit health policy resource center dedicated to improving health care quality in diverse populations experiencing disparities in care, is the third partner.

"Safety-net" health care provider organizations in the four cities will adapt and implement the Camden programs introduced in 2007. They are Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley in Allentown, Pa.; Metro Community Provider Network in Aurora, Colo.; Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City, Mo.; and MultiCultural Primary Care Medical Group, San Diego.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, made the Health Care Innovation Award to the New Jersey consortium for $14.3 million over three years. More than 80 percent of the funds will be used by project sites for their care management initiatives.

"This project aims to deliver better care at lower cost to very high-need patients from low-income communities around the country," said Professor Joel C. Cantor, director of the Rutgers center. "The award builds on the nationally recognized work of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers.

"The project will engage nearly 2,500 high-cost, high-need Medicaid, Medicare and uninsured patients across the four communities in intensive care management, projected to achieve savings of $67.7 million for public program enrollees over three years."

Cantor added that the savings will be generated as the programs improve the patients' access to ambulatory medical and social services, achieve improved patient outcomes and reduce preventable inpatient and emergency department use.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, founder of the Camden Coalition, each of the project sites will deploy care management teams that include nurses, social workers and community health workers. The care management approach will provide clients with a range of patient-centered case management and social services. These include filling prescriptions, finding appropriate housing or beds in a shelter, applying for health coverage or disability benefits, coordinating legal issues, finding transportation, managing chronic physical and mental illness, and coordinating appropriate specialty care. After patients are stabilized, the care management teams work to ease their transition to local primary care medical facilities.

The Rutgers center will coordinate technical assistance and convene a project "learning network," bringing in experts to work with the four sites to implement such best practices as building an electronic records system. Under the leadership of Brenner, the Camden Coalition will assist the project sites to effectively adopt strategies for care management and to identify "hot spots." The Center for Health Care Strategies will work with the sites and their respective state Medicaid agencies and local managed care plans to create such sustainable financing plans as shared savings programs.

This project builds on the "Bring Health Reform Home" initiative of the PICO National Network, the nation's largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network, representing 1,000 congregations in more than 200 cities. The local PICO affiliate, Camden Churches Organized for People, has worked with the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers since 2002.

Rutgers Center for State Health Policy is an initiative of the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research whose mission includes policy analysis, research, training, facilitation and consultation on state health policy.


Contact: Steve Manas
732-932-7084 x612
Rutgers University

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