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November 22, 2016

The Impact of a Behavioral Health Condition on High-Need Adults

For “high-need” patients with three or more chronic conditions and a functional limitation, the burden of a diagnosed behavioral health condition entails not only greater use of health care services but also the likelihood of persistently higher health costs over time.

According to analyses of health spending data, The Commonwealth Fund’s Susan L. Hayes, Douglas McCarthy, and David Radley find that more than half of high-need adults in the U.S. have a diagnosed behavioral health condition such as depression or anxiety, alcohol- or substance-related disorders, or severe mental illness among their multiple chronic conditions.

The researchers also find that these adults more often struggle to get needed care and report worse experiences with patient services than those with high needs who don’t have a behavioral health problem. These findings reinforce the importance of an integrated approach to addressing behavioral health needs across the continuum of care for high-need patients, the authors say.

Read this To the Point post for the complete analysis and our slide-show explainer.

Read more

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