Victor Murray Highlights the Difficulties of Treating Individuals With Complex Needs

Traditional healthcare systems have not been in a position to effectively treat people with complex needs, said Victor Murray, director for care management initiatives at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers.

How do you identify a patient who has complex health and social needs and who could benefit from a different model of care?
Complex care in many respects is a cross-section of many issues, experiences, conditions, both on a medical spectrum, on a social service spectrum, on a mental health, behavioral health. And so, once persons are in a space and their having various needs that cross different systems and just put people in a place where they feel like they can be productive, or just achieve what they feel like is a high-quality level of life, I think it puts people in that space.

And so traditional healthcare systems have not been in a position to treat people in that space. Traditional healthcare says, if you have an issue, you call your primary care provider, you show up at the time that you’re supposed to, a 9 o’clock, you sit in a waiting room for an hour, you fill out paperwork, you’re called to the back and get 20 minutes to talk about whatever it is with your provider, and you go about your happy way, you get a prescription. But for folks who are in these buckets that have mental health, behavioral health, homelessness as an issue, transportation issues, access issues, that traditional way of treating doesn’t necessarily prove to be effective. And so how do we, as a system, really start to think about how we can do things differently in order to meet the needs of people?

In my experience, all too often, we tell people that they need to do things differently. Behavioral modification; like what are the changes that you can make without systems taking that same level of accountability? What do we need to do differently? How do we behave differently in order to conform to the needs of people? And so this field, complex care, this movement is really about how do we shift systems around so that we’re providing service in a more coordinated way.
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