Favorable 2014 Super-Utilizer Statistics for South Central Pa Learning Collaborative - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on March 26, 2015

Super-Utilizer Statistics through 2014 Are Favorable for South Central Pa High-Utilizer Learning Collaborative

Crozer-Keystone Health SystemMedia Contact:
Aubrey Proud
(610) 447-6171

Healthcare costs for Pennsylvania patients who frequently go to hospitals and emergency rooms can be dramatically reduced, according to the South Central Pennsylvania High-Utilizer Learning Collaborative, based on its updated data.

South Central PA Learning Collaborative Yields Positive Results about Super Utilizers

Read the full report for details
and statistical information.

As of 12/31/2014, the 446 "super-utilizer” patients who were part of four of the Collaborative’s programs saw reductions of 52% in hospital admissions, 21% in observation admissions, and 21% in emergency room visits compared to their utilization baseline in the 18 months prior to enrollment. Based on these rates of utilization reduction, the programs are estimated to have prevented more than 4,000 days of hospital admissions for enrollees, and avoided costs of approximately $3 million to public and private healthcare insurance companies.

The Crozer-Keystone Center for Family Health has a partnership program with Independence Blue Cross to assist a targeted sample of senior-citizens that super-utilize. In 2014, a total of 14 patients were included in the program, and an additional four patients who left the program (one passed away, two by patient choice, and one by program choice). For the 14 participants, there was an 80% decrease in observations, a 27% reduction in inpatient admissions, a 33% decrease in length of stay, a 29% increase in ER visits (.52 per patient per year to .68 per patient per year), and a 36% decrease in hospital charges.

The Collaborative’s five members—WellSpan Health, Lancaster General Health, The Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley, PinnacleHealth and Crozer-Keystone Health System–-are working together to redesign care provided to high-utilizer  patients. They use the super-utilizer approach, pioneered by Dr. Jeffrey Brenner in Camden, NJ, which employs data-driven, patient-centered primary care teams to improve care outcomes and reduce costs for individual patients with high inpatient and emergency department use. 

The Collaborative’s updated data will be presented on March 26, 2015 at the “Super-Utilizer Post-Conference” in Camden, NJ, sponsored by the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, the organization that Dr. Brenner founded and heads. 

The new figures will also be part of an updated version of “Working with the Super-Utilizer Population: The Experience and Recommendations of Five Pennsylvania Programs,” a White Paper released in 2014 with a grant from the Highmark Foundation. The full report with the new data is available here.

This data clearly show that, by putting the patient's goals at the center of what we do, closely coordinating healthcare and social services, and using data to guide our efforts, we help our most challenging patients transform their lives," says Chris Echterling MD, WellSpan Health's Medical Director for Vulnerable Populations.

Through the Collaborative, the five programs have exchanged ideas about the challenges facing high-utilizer programs such as coordination of care, data sharing and transparency, outcome metrics and alignment of financial incentives to support high utilizer interventions. The programs are committed to adapting their experiences into a scalable model to provide this intensive assistance to the Commonwealth's most vulnerable patients.

The programs strive to: (1) share and use data to inform and evaluate progress; (2) use more flexible treatment options to achieve improved outcomes more cost effectively; (3) partner closely with non-health care organizations in our local communities to assure sustainability of patient gains; and (4) define new payment models to drive and support these changes. The experiences gained through these programs will be invaluable in expanding the benefits of the super-utilizer approach and transforming healthcare systems across the state and more broadly.

About the Highmark Foundation

The Highmark Foundation is a private, charitable organization of Highmark, Inc. that supports initiatives and programs aimed at improving community health. The Foundation's mission is to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for individuals who reside in the communities served by Highmark, Inc. The Foundation strives to support evidence-based programs that impact multiple counties and work collaboratively to leverage additional funding to achieve replicable models. For more information, visit www.highmarkfoundation.org.

South Central Pennsylvania High-Utilizer Learning Collaborative

For more information about the Collaborative’s activities, please contact:

Samantha Obeck, DNP, Project Coordinator for the South Central Pennsylvania High-Utilizer Learning Collaborative at sobeck@wellspan.org

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