High-Need, High-Cost Personas

Tanya Shah
Meredith Brown
Becky Reed
Jason Hessing
Christina Maldonado
Technical Assistance Tool

This resource offers a variety of materials about “personas” for different segments of the high-need patient population.

  • A persona helps depict the experiences, motivations, and goals of a group of patients, as well as the barriers they face. Ultimately, the personas can suggest practical guidance on improving care and lowering costs.
  • The Commonwealth Fund partnered with Healthwise, a health care nonprofit, to develop these personas. The team interviewed dozens of individuals with complex needs about their experiences.
  • The personas in this project describe older adults living with multiple conditions, frailty, and advancing illness as well as those under 65 living with disabilities. There are also personas for paid and unpaid caregivers for high-need patients.
  • This website offers an in-depth overview of different personas, along with video narratives from a real patient or caregiver who has lived the experience.
Posted to The Playbook on
Population Addressed
Adults Under 65 with Disabilities
People with Advanced Illness
Frail Older Adults
People with Multiple Chronic Conditions
People with Behavioral Health and Social Needs
Key Questions Answered
  • What is a health care “persona” and what purpose does it serve?
  • What are the personas for different segments of high-needs populations and their caregivers, and what can we learn from them?
Level of Evidence
Expert Opinion
What does this mean?