Poor Patients Are the Most Expensive Patients

This is based on a video found on Fronline.org http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/doctor-hotspot/

Camden, New Jersey is considered one of the most dangerous cities in America. The poverty level is extremely high and so are health care costs. Dr. Jeffrey Brenner wants to lower the cost of health care and increase the quality of care. He thinks that the city of Camden might help discover how. Dr. Brenner was motivated to do this when he arrived on scene at a shooting. He had asked where the victim was and discovered that he still had a pulse. The victim was shot and had a chance of survival but the police officers did absolutely nothing to save his life at the time. They said that they did not want to “dislodge the bullet” with resuscitation. Their lack of motivation to tend to the victim left Brenner very angered. He then tried to involve himself in the local police reform but it proved to make little difference. In 2007 he turned to and organization known as “hotspotters”, known as The Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers. This organization studies local hotspots where each patient visited the hospital up to 40 times a year. More than 300 people in Camden were helped with organized care provided by the Camden Coalition. They discovered that high crime rate areas were also considered hotspots. One percent of people accounted for thirty percent of hospital charges and more than one million dollars of hospital bills were indebted to these patients.

People with chronic illnesses are being taken care of in the Emergency Room (ER) and treatments were not coordinated appropriately. Follow up appointments for these patients did not exist. The most expensive patients are receiving terrible care. Doctors would prescribe medicines and not tell the patients what was even wrong with them. ER visits are among the most expensive hospital visits and hospitals are required to admit every single person with an emergency regardless of insurance coverage. Those who had insurance and paid their hospital bills, end up paying for these ER patents who do not have insurance, thus making costs rise higher and higher. By lowering the amount of hospital visits through managed care, health care costs for these patients with chronic conditions dropped forty to fifty percent. Hospitals are weary of this idea of reducing hospital visits because it will in turn bring in less money. However, we need to fix this mess of chronic disease patients flooding the ER and focus on treating these chronic conditions through managed care. The ER will still remain busy, but with patients who are in need of immediate care for one time treatment. Dr. Brenner is working to create a better relationship between poor patients and the health care system to reduce health care costs. He is hoping that the entire nation will catch on to this way of thinking in order to lower over all health care debts.


About Brittany Hartwell

Brittany is currently a student at Wichita State University in the Health Administration Program. This is her last year before she ventures out into the eventful healthcare world. This blog will primarily show the latest healthcare topics of our beautiful and ever-changing nation.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s