Exploring low-cost health care delivery alternatives for low-wage earners in Atlantic City, N.J.

Efforts to address the dual problem of high costs and substandard quality often amount to shifting costs among purchasers, or micromanaging the use of services rather than attempting to reengineer the way care is delivered. The Ambulatory Intensive Care Unit (A-ICU), which was developed with additional support from the California Health Care Foundation, represents a bold, fundamental redesign of the way care is provided to patients at highest risk of receiving costly, low-quality care. In this pilot test, a cadre of non-physicians minimized upstream risks by building patient self-management motivation and skills. The A-ICU?s other innovations included redesigned access to specialty services and performance-based selection and management of specialist, hospital and other provider partners. Based on financial projections, the A-ICU has the potential to deliver 30?37 percent lower spending for the highest 20ÿpercent cost enrollees in the first year. The pilot project was designed to offer potentially invaluable lessons about designing health benefits and delivery systems, maximizing quality and cost-effectiveness and providing comprehensive care to high-risk populations.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $194,560.00

Awarded on: 1/20/2007

Time frame: 2/1/2007 - 12/31/2008

Grant Number: 56351


Mercer Human Resource Consulting LLC

4 Embarcadero Center, Suite 400
San Francisco, 94111-4038


Arnold Milstein
Project Director