Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: "Hotspotting" who uses healthcare and preventing injury and illness

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 20, 2013 2:57 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Tuesday, May 21:

witf's Transforming Health initiative addresses the major changes that are going on in today's American healthcare.  Better outcomes, prevention, and controlling costs are all part of any transition plan that is driven by the patient centered medical home.

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Tuesday's Radio Smart Talk features two guests who will focus on those three aspects of healthcare.

Dr. Jeffrey Brenner is the Executive Director and Founder of the Camden (NJ) Coalition of Healthcare Providers.  Across the Delaware River from Philadelphia in Camden, New Jersey, Dr. Brenner found that a small percentage of patients were utilizing the most healthcare.  He mapped out where those patients lived and developed a system he called hotspotting. 

For example in a six-year period, some nine hundred people who lived on two blocks made 4,000 hospital visits at a cost of about $200 million.  Dr. Brenner's research discovered that in most cases, those patients didn't have regular physicians who could monitor their conditions, often went to hospital emergency rooms for treatment, or often didn't take their prescribed medications.

Brenner found that if he kept in contact with the patients and advised them on their healthcare, their conditions improved and they were making fewer visits to the doctor and hospitals.  As a result, they were healthier and less money was spent on their healthcare.

Brenner will join us on Tuesday's program to explain how his research can be used nationally.

Also, Dalila Butler M.P.H. of the Prevention Institute will be with us as well.  The Prevention Institute says it is "committed to preventing illness and injury, to fostering health and social equity, and to building momentum for community prevention as an integral component of a quality health system." 

Both guests will be speaking in the midstate later this week.

Ms. Butler will be the Keynote Speaker at the 2013 Lancaster Health Summit on Thursday, May 23. Click here to register for the Summit.

Dr. Brenner will also visit Central PA on Thursday, May 23. He will convene a gathering of health care providers, state officials, social service providers, faith-based organizations and local citizens interested to learn more about innovations in health care delivery and how to make a difference. Click here for more information.


For more on the plight of the “super-utilizer” here in Central PA check out this Transforming Health blog entry written by Wellspan Health’s Dr. Chris Echterling.

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  • Robert D Colgan img 2013-05-21 09:54

    Sorry to say that I missed most of the first half of the show, so I am only commenting here on the second part with Dr. Brenner.

    Really liked his message:
    the idea that effective healthcare involves firstly and primarily CARING . . .caring, which like a bandage or crutch, if it's to be effective needs to stay in place until healing has strengthened to self-sustained maintenance, that following patients until they have attained that self-sustenance is critical to outcome.

    The one thing that I find most upsetting about the American healthcare apparatus is the undue influence of money---which couples directly, unfortunately, to GREED....and that greed sours the entire mix.

    Any approach that understands that the ultimate legitimacy of the art of healing is the vital connection between human beings-----(something far removed from monetary valuation)------ will place the focus on establishing connection and using it as the essential tool in the armamentarium.

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