Issue: Achieving a high-performing health system will require improving outcomes and reducing costs for high-need, high-cost patients--those who use the most health care services and account for a disproportionately large share of health care spending. Goal: To compare the health care experiences of adults with high needs--those with three or more chronic diseases and a functional limitation in the ability to care for themselves or perform routine daily tasks--to all adults and to those with multiple chronic diseases but no functional limitations. Methods: Analysis of data from the 2009--2011 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Key findings: High-need adults were more likely to report having an unmet medical need and less likely to report having good patient-provider communication. High-need adults reported roughly similar ease of obtaining specialist referrals as other adults and greater likelihood of having a medical home. While adults with private health insurance reported the fewest unmet needs overall, privately insured high-need adults reported the greatest difficulties having their needs met. Conclusion: The health care system needs to work better for the highest-need, most-complex patients. This study's findings highlight the importance of tailoring interventions to address their needs.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Issue brief (Commonwealth Fund)|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2016|
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