In Many States, High-Need Patients Face High Barriers to Health Care

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<p>Americans who have chronic conditions coupled with functional limitations use more health care and incur far greater costs than most other patients. But little else is known about how their care experiences vary from state to state.</p><p>Building on previous Commonwealth Fund research on high-need patients in the U.S., a new analysis of national data sheds light on how access to care, barriers to receiving needed care, and satisfaction with services received compare among all 50 states and the District of Columbia.</p>
<p>Authors David Radley, Susan Hayes, and Douglas McCarthy find that in all states, people with high needs — who account for between 8 percent and 20 percent of adult residents — are more likely than the overall population to face cost-related barriers and to be less satisfied with the care they receive. But in some places, health system performance is much worse than in others: in Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, North Carolina, and South Carolina, for example, 40 percent or more of high-need adults reported not seeing a doctor when needed or not filling a prescription because of the cost.</p>
<p>The wide variation in health system performance across the U.S., the researchers say, suggests there are opportunities to learn from states that are better able to meet the comprehensive medical care, behavioral health, and social needs of some of the most vulnerable Americans.</p> Read more