Better Care for the Sickest Patients: A Call to Action for Academic Health Centers


Health care delivery systems are increasingly focused on improving care for patients with the highest needs and highest costs, in part because of the cost savings and financial returns that are possible through new value-based payment models. These include the country's academic medical centers (AMCs), many of which have been at the forefront of efforts to meet the range of physical, behavioral, and social needs of a particularly vulnerable population.

In the journal Academic Medicine, the Commonwealth Fund’s David Blumenthal, M.D., Douglas McCarthy, and Tanya Shah issue a call to action for AMCs to “accelerate the path to improving care for the country’s sickest and most expensive patients.” They point to six key features of care programs that have achieved proven results, including targeting interventions to those patients who are most likely to benefit and partnering with social services providers to address patients’ nonclinical needs.

"AMCs have many opportunities to create high-performing health systems, establish operational evidence for how to transform delivery systems, and train the next generation of providers to better address the care of high-need, high-cost individuals," the authors write.

High-Need Patient Outdoors Read the article