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Dr Jeffrey Brenner Explains Why Complex Patients Need Realigned Care Teams

The traditional care team model places doctors in charge of the team, but this structure may not be the most effective for complex patients with social challenges and other issues, said Jeffrey Brenner, MD, executive director of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers.


The traditional care team model places doctors in charge of the team, but this structure may not be the most effective for complex patients with social challenges and other issues, said Jeffrey Brenner, MD, executive director of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers.

Transcript (slightly modified)

How should care teams be utilized to best care for high-need, high-cost patients?

What’s really become clear to all of us over the years is that this is not about one doc in a room, that traditional model that we have in care. This is a team-based structure, and you need a lot of different skills to take care of complicated patients. The other thing is that the underlying driver for a lot of these patients is mental health, addiction, social challenges.

We’ve really put doctors at the center of the care team, and there’s nothing about our training that would make that really make sense when you lay out what’s going on with these patients. Just by virtue of training, it probably puts social workers in charge of the team, and the doctors would be there to support them. If you look at how we’re trained, we’re technical experts with a very specific set of knowledge, but if the challenges facing the patient are biopsychosocial, of which the medical’s just a piece, there’s no reason why we should be in charge of teams, leading teams, leading these models. 

 
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