“Diagnosis: Data” Series Chronicles Applications of Healthcare Data in Camden, NJ

A series aired on American Public Media’s Marketplace program profiled real-world examples of using healthcare data to improve care and reduce costs in Camden, NJ.

1. Using data to treat the sickest and most expensive patients
2. Data: The secret ingredient in hospital cooperation
3. Data opens doors in healthcare, but then what?
Image of Jeffrey Brenner, MD
Jeffrey Brenner, MD. Courtesy: MacArthur Foundation.

The first segment follows Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, a MacArthur award–winning family physician who is conducting a randomized controlled trial of a care program targeted at healthcare “superutilizers”—patients with chronic conditions who accumulate high numbers of hospital visits and associated costs. The second story highlights how hospitals in Camden have created a health information exchange to share data for their Medicaid patients, with the goal of providing better care and preventing waste associated with duplicate tests. Interviewees explain that despite the potential benefits, hospitals have traditionally been reluctant to share data, but this position may be changed by incentives. The final program demonstrates that data can only go so far, sometimes revealing challenges that are not easily addressed.

“Diagnosis: Data” was produced in collaboration with Healthy States as part of reporting work examining changes in healthcare in the wake of the Affordable Care Act.