U.S. Health Care System Not Adequately Serving Those with Greatest Needs

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<p>Two Commonwealth Fund studies published today examine the relatively small percentage of the U.S. population living at home that accounts for a relatively large portion of health care spending: 12 million of the sickest Americans, who have three or more chronic illnesses, as well as a functional limitation that hinders them from performing basic tasks, like getting around the house or talking on the phone. </p><p>These patients have higher unmet needs, lower incomes, and higher spending than the overall population. For instance, 20 percent of the sickest adults reported going without or delaying needed medical care or prescription drugs, compared with 8 percent of all U.S. adults. And their out-of-pocket expenses were more than twice as high: $1,669 vs. $702. The issue briefs, <em><a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2016/aug/high-need-high-cost-patients-who-are-they-and-how-do-they-use">High-Need, High-Cost Patients: Who Are They and How Do They Use Health Care?</a></em> and <em><a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2016/aug/health-system-performance-high-need-patient-look-access-care-and">Health System Performance for the High-Need Patient: A Look at Access to Care and Patient Care Experiences</a></em>, describe this population in detail and recommend ways the health care system could better serve them.</p>
<p>“This research shows us who these very sick adults are, what their needs are, and how the system is, or isn’t, working for them right now. This gives us a clearer picture of how to help them get and afford the care they need,” said coauthor Melinda Abrams, Vice President for Delivery System Reform at The Commonwealth Fund. </p>
<p>A Commonwealth Fund-supported Alliance for Health Reform briefing, “<a href="http://www.allhealth.org/event_reg.asp?bi=401&quot; target="_blank">High-Need, High-Cost Patients: Challenges & Promising Models</a>,” will be held at 12 pm today. The briefing will be streamed on C-SPAN and questions can be submitted on Twitter with #HNHC.</p>

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/newsletters/ealerts/2016/aug/us-health-system-not-serving-those-with-needs Read the briefs