In 2013, the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) committed to develop a guide that can be shared with medical students, residents, and other health care providers to help them replicate the "hot spotting" approach in order to identify super utilizers of health care and develop new care strategies for this high cost population that will improve health outcomes and reduce avoidable hospitalizations and emergency room visits. The AAMC will partner with the physician responsible for developing "hot spotting" to develop a guide that provides an overview of the approach and introductory steps for implementation. The guide will be launched at the AAMC Annual Meeting in November, 2013.
Additionally, AAMC will develop a recognition program that will feature a "pay it forward" approach where early pioneers will receive funding to support their own hot spotting program as well as travel funds to support training others who want to follow in their footsteps. Applicants for the "pay it forward program" would receive $18,000 each which includes $8,000 to support site visits and the provision of technical assistance to two pilot programs. The awardees would have to provide details on their hot spotting efforts, including details on the workforce necessary to support care transformation for super utilizers. Also, they will be asked to describe their plan for providing technical assistance to other pilot organizations. Up to eight pilot programs would receive $4000 each to support their efforts and require matching dollars to show internal support for the effort. The AAMC will also convene a learning collaborative with periodic webinars to encourage sharing of information across organizations. AAMC will also post case studies on our iCollaborative website which is available to the general public at no charge.
Summer 2013: Develop a publication that provides an actionable process for getting started with hot spotting.
Summer 2013: Seek funding support from the Center for Disease Control and other entities to develop a pay it forward recognition program. Ideally, we would secure funding in time to include information about the award program in the hot spotting brochure.
November 2013: Print copies for distribution at AAMC Annual Meeting.
November/December 2013: Host a webinar to provide additional information about the guide.
The current fiscal climate and the increased focus on achieving the triple aim of lowering health care costs, improving the patient experience of care, and patients' health outcomes, is motivating health care providers to develop new care delivery models. Hot spotting super-utilizers of health care - the 20 percent of patients who account for 80 percent of health care costs - in order to better manage care and reduce avoidable emergency room visits and hospitalizations is one such approach that is gaining traction. Identifying who these patients are, where they live, and involving them and others in their community in their health care needs and challenges can lead to significant insights on how to redesign care and integrate other community resources more effectively to improve patient health and lower cost of care. Jeffrey Brenner, MD of the Camden Coalition is one of the pioneers in this approach to care, and many look to him for guidance on how to replicate this approach. Having new materials that provide insights on beginning steps to hot spotting would be a valuable resource to help others build on Dr. Brenner's work, and ultimately lead to new learning networks and increased understanding of how to improve care for vulnerable populations.