January 16th, 2020

Podcast 248: “Hotspotting” didn’t work in its home town — why?

The process of identifying super-users of healthcare and reducing the frequency of their hospitalizations — so-called “hotspotting” — was subjected to a randomized, controlled trial in Camden, NJ, the birthplace of the idea. It failed there.

Those in the intervention group had a readmission rate within 6 months that was statistically identical to those getting usual care.

True, the Camden patients had particularly complex social and medical problems, so that doesn’t mean that the program can’t work elsewhere.

Listen to our chat with the report’s senior author, Prof. Joseph Doyle, and as well, listen to our interview with Dr. Jeffrey Brenner from 6 years ago — he’s the one who put “hotspotting” on the map. Despite the apparent failure of the trial, the Coalition still has a lot to offer.

Results of the randomized trial in NEJM

Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Brenner from 2013

Camden Coalition’s website

Running time: 15 minutes

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