Learning Update: Improving Health Care for High-Need Patients

November 2017

Since 2015, the Peterson Center on Healthcare has been working to improve the quality and lower the cost of care for high-need, high-cost patients. This resource provides a summary of what has been learned in that time. 

  • High-need patients are highly heterogeneous. Granular analysis of different patient segments showed where interventions can have the most impact on cost and quality for different groups. For example, for patients who are under 65 and disabled, successful interventions include multidisciplinary care teams and the coordination of clinical services, behavioral health, and social services.
  • Promising models of better care for high-need patients exist, but better understanding is needed of how to implement those models. A crucial next step is to make it easier to implement what works under diverse conditions.
  • Successful interventions and care models share common features. These features include assessment, targeting, monitoring, and teamwork.
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