“Right now we have a passive medical system that waits for you to come to it. What we need to do is create a medical system that actively seeks out really sick people and takes much better care of them,” says Jeffrey C. Brenner, M.D. A family physician in Camden, N.J., Brenner is one of 24 MacArthur Foundation fellows named on Wednesday. Informally known as a “genius grant,” the fellowship award is $625,000.
Brenner also is the founder and executive director of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, an organization seeking to improve the quality of care delivered to vulnerable populations in Camden. The coalition has community-based physicians, hospital staff, social workers, nurses, and other providers work in teams to deliver comprehensive preventive and primary care to the neediest patients, the foundation said.
Sometimes called super utilizers, high utilizers, or frequent fliers, these patients have complex medical conditions and often lack social services, such as transportation or knowledge about how to use the health system most effectively. High utilizers account for a disproportionately high share of overall spending. By some estimates, 5 percent of these patients account for more than 60 percent of all health care costs. Continue reading