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Newsletter Article


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

older woman and daughter

Two new Commonwealth Fund studies examine the relatively small percentage of the U.S. population living at home that accounts for a large portion of health care spending. This group comprises 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.

These patients have higher unmet needs, lower incomes, and higher spending than the overall population. The issue briefs, High-Need, High-Cost Patients: Who Are They and How Do They Use Health Care? and Health System Performance for the High-Need Patient: A Look at Access to Care and Patient Care Experiences, describe this population in detail and recommend ways the health care system could better serve these individuals.

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