A recently-released report demonstrates the power of hotspotting in providing objective data to support thoughtful, informed local community health planning. Funded by The Nicholson Foundation, the Greater New Brunswick Hotspotting Project examined hospital utilization patterns in New Brunswick and Franklin Township, New Jersey from 2012-2013.
The Project revealed that about 3% of the 45,316 patients visiting either Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital or Saint Peter’s University Hospital over that time period could be classified as Medicaid high-utilizers (i.e., patients with five or more emergency department visits or three or more hospitalizations over two years). These patients were highly geographically concentrated, with 10% of census blocks in New Brunswick and Franklin Township accounting for almost 30% of Medicaid high-utilizers, and 37% of hospital receipts. The average two-year cost per patient from all hotspots was $17,997.