Giving Compass' Take:

• Research from Peterson Center on Healthcare highlights the barriers to care for high-need patients and the elements of successful programs supporting those patients. 

• What existing programs need improvement and expansion? Where are entirely new programs necessary? 

• Read more about high-need, high-cost patients

Over the last decade, the fact that a small portion of the population—around 5 percent— accounts for almost half of healthcare spending nationwide has focused attention and resources in the field to find ways to improve care for these high-need individuals. This effort has yielded greater knowledge about who comprises this population, and what type of care can meet their complex needs. An emerging body of work in the field is exploring new opportunities to spread promising interventions that can improve the quality of care and lower spending for this particularly vulnerable population. How can we build on that foundational experimentation and research to transform how care is delivered nationwide?

The short answer is that we are learning. The Peterson Center on Healthcare has invested almost $6 million since 2015 in better understanding the characteristics that make high-need individuals particularly vulnerable to low-quality care; replicating care delivery that improves quality and lowers costs; and creating an environment that accelerates the adoption of promising approaches. In this report, we share what we’ve learned, the questions we are now asking ourselves and our partners, and why we are optimistic about improving care for high-need patients.

My main takeaways:
  • Success depends on finding the right approach for each patient and adapting the care plan to their needs and goals.
  • Promising models of better care for high-need patients exist, but we need to advance the field’s knowledge of how to implement those models.
  • Addressing these challenges requires a collaborative approach.