New Jersey’s capital city never underwent the revitalization experienced by larger cities like New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. There are few grocery stores and unusually high rates of chronic illnesses. For years, its hospitals and medical centers provided inadequate service, with patients sometimes enduring wait times exceeding 70 days. And yet, thanks to the efforts of a handful of doctors and organizations, Trenton has become one of the first U.S. cities to try out a patient-centered form of health care known as “hot spotting.” While larger cities continue to repeatedly pack sick people into hospitals — and awarding the industry for filling beds, not curing patients — Trenton, with support from the Obama administration, is experimenting with a new strategy for connecting with people. Using a mix of data analysis and old-fashioned human relationships, the hot spotters are reaching people who, in the past, have fallen through the cracks of the health care system (until that system has to receive them in an ambulance). Journalist Jake Blumgart looks into this emerging health care trend, examining the dire circumstances by which it came about and its chances for success in New Jersey and beyond.
- Find out why close to 20 percent of American seniors are back in the hospital within 30 days of being released, and what stats like this mean for urban communities.
- Learn why the Obama administration is investing in hot spotting.
- Find out about Roemer's Law and why the U.S. care system rewards filling hospital beds over preventative care.