ECRI Institute's 21st Annual Conference Addresses Cost and Care Coordination of Complex Patients

ECRI Institute’s 21st Annual Conference on the Use of Evidence in Policy and Practice will address how America’s healthcare system is changing to care for complex patients; how this care is being financed; and how and where this care takes place. 

The number of patients who are considered complex or high-risk is increasing and they don’t fall into a single, simple category. Among these complex patients are those who are: frequently admitted and readmitted to hospitals; elderly and frail; fragile but not elderly, including newborns; or those who have multiple chronic conditions; suffer from mental illness and/or struggle with substance abuse; live in difficult social/home/community environments; or have experienced major trauma.

The importance of identifying and understanding commonalities, as well as differences among these types of patients rises as our healthcare system struggles with profound change. “Outliers” are clinically and financially complex, and when there are more of them, the challenges to our care delivery models become more pronounced.

The “New” Complex Patient: The Shifting Locus of Care and Cost, a free public service conference, will be held Nov. 6-7, 2014, in Washington, D.C., at the National Academy of Sciences. It is designed to bring policymakers and clinical leaders across the healthcare continuum together.

Healthcare payment reform aims, in part, to create a more seamless healthcare system for patients, for their families and employers, and for the providers of care. Some longstanding healthcare systems are more practiced at creating a balanced, though still imperfect, approach for complex patients, but most are just starting down this road.

“What evidence is there-from a patient as well as a provider, payer, and regulatory agency perspective-that care for these patients is at least equal in quality, as coordinated, as safe, and more affordable than traditional healthcare has been?” asks Jeffrey C. Lerner, PhD, president and CEO of ECRI Institute. “We can't make the issues surrounding complex patients simple, but we’ve brought together more than 30 of the nation’s most distinguished experts to take status, to make the issues understandable, and to help foster constructive change.”

Conference co-sponsors and co-planners are senior executives from Kaiser Permanente, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, AcademyHealth, Health Affairs, the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, and University of Pennsylvania Health System.

The nine themed sessions are structured like chapters in an edited book, and will address patient outcomes research, clinical perspectives, the role of emergency departments, federal and state initiatives, the impact of technology advances, quality and patient safety, care coordination, private payer and health system perspectives, and the path forward.

ECRI Institute is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Application will be made for Pennsylvania CLE credit and nursing credits, too. Visit the website for details.

The conference will be held at the National Academy of Sciences at 2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20418. There is no registration fee, but advance registration is required as space is limited. Press credentials are available for those wishing to cover the conference or interview presenters. ECRI Institute will offer live updates from the event on Twitter at #EIConf14. For conference details, list of speakers, and to register, visit

Source: ECRI Institute