The Camden Coalition of Healthcare providers advocates for different (public and private) hospitals in Camden. It recently implemented an automated processing system to improve health services and reduce costs by facilitating better access to healthcare services, mainly for uninsured people.
The probabilistic algorithm aims to match patients with hospitals, analyzing the frequency of visits and other variables. The first report derived from these analyses revealed that half of Camden population had used hospital services in 2003 (CamConnect and Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers 2006). The system also indicated the most frequent diseases among the population, which was used to establish a more targeted and effective strategy to reduce diseases and costs (Kingsley, Coulton and Pettit 2014).
With the help of CamConnect, a local non-profit dedicated to broadening data access, Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers established an agreement with the hospitals to source patient billing data, including emergency department visits and inpatient hospitalizations, addresses, diagnosis codes, demographic data and the cost of hospital visits. Partners involved in the project established many security measures to guarantee legal compliance and secure access and management to this data (CamConnect 2010). Still, it should be noted that the act of collecting such sensitive data by any third party should raise concerns regarding data privacy.