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Dr Jeffrey Brenner Discusses The National Center and Caring for Complex Patients

Programs that care for complex patients lack a sustainable source of funding that provides structural flexibility, according to Jeffrey Brenner, MD, executive director of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers. He also mentioned that there had been no gatherings solely dedicated to caring for the most complex patients until The National Center for Complex Health and Social Needsí Putting Care at the Center conference.


Programs that care for complex patients lack a sustainable source of funding that provides structural flexibility, according to Jeffrey Brenner, MD, executive director of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers. He also mentioned that there had been no gatherings solely dedicated to caring for the most complex patients until The National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs’ Putting Care at the Center conference.

Transcript (slightly modified)

How does The National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs build upon the work of the Camden Coalition?

So the National Center is really a natural extension of a lot of the relationships we’ve begun to make over the years. It’s really clear to us that we don’t know enough to fix the healthcare system in Camden. We need lots of collaborators and lots of ideas from around the country. There’s amazing work going on all over the country, and I think a lot of us feel like we don’t have a home for that. We don’t have a place or a conference that we come together. I find myself at the edge of lots of different conferences, but this is a conference solely devoted to the most complex patients.

What funding challenges do people run into when implementing programs to care for complex patients?

Tremendous funding challenges to care for these patients, and building programs. There are no obvious funding sources out there right now, so the typical Medicare fee schedule, the way Medicaid is structured, the way commercial insurance is structured, doesn’t provide the flexibility and the team-based structures that you need to care for these patients. Lots of folks end up with either separate hospital funding, grant funding, or even pilot funding through a contracted relationship with an insurance company, but those aren’t sustainable. They will get you started, but they’re certainly not going to keep you in the game.

 
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