Press Surrounding Commonwealth Survey of High-Need Patients

Press Surrounding the 2016 Commonwealth Fund Survey of High-Need Patients

Survey conducted by SSRS as part of our weekly, nationally representative omnibus survey.

Marketplace Morning Report

On today’s show, we’ll talk about Trump’s choice for Labor Secretary; the difficulties of treating patients who are socially isolated; Italy’s struggles to rescue its third-largest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena; and a new paper that found just over half of 30-year-olds earn more than their parents did at a similar age — down from 90 percent in 1970 (The survey is discussed at 2:44).


“According to a new “playbook” from five foundations, it starts with boosting social services — and investing in staff like care coordinators and shuttle drivers…An accompanying survey from the Commonwealth Fund also underscores the importance of addressing social determinants of health, which can contribute to ongoing health challenges. Nearly two-thirds of high-needs patients experienced stress about their ability to afford housing, utilities or nutrition. That’s almost twice the response from patients without high needs…The playbook is slated to be unveiled at this morning’s kick-off meeting of the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs, led by Jeffrey Brenner of the Camden Coalition.”

Health Brief: December 9, 2016

How High-Need Patients Experience Health Care in the United States

Many high-need patients missing out on help with ADLs, report shows

The majority of high-need patients in the United States who require help with activities of daily living do not have enough support, a new report shows. The Playbook: Better Care for People with Complex Needs, was released Friday by five national healthcare organizations as an “initial effort to to compile and share promising approaches” in improving care for people with complex medical needs. The report includes findings from the 2016 Commonwealth Fund Survey of High-Need Patients, those with two or more major chronic conditions such as stroke or diabetes.

U.S. Healthcare System Failing High-Need Patients, Survey Finds

The U.S. healthcare system is failing patients with complex medical needs, many of whom struggle to access the coordinated medical, behavioral, and social services they need to manage their conditions and avoid costly hospital visits, an issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund finds. Based on a survey of more than three thousand adults, the brief, How High-Need Patients Experience Health Care in the Unites States (20 pages, PDF), found that while 95 percent of the more than eighteen hundred high-need respondents had a regular doctor or place of care, 44 percent reported that they had experienced delays in care in the past year — compared with 21 percent of non-high-need respondents — due to limited access to care coordinators, counseling, assistance in managing functional limitations, and/or transportation services. Nearly half the high-need population — which tends to be older, less educated, and poorer and includes a greater share of women and African Americans than the general population — reported being hospitalized overnight (48 percent) or going to the emergency room multiple times (47 percent) in the past two years.

How High-Need Patients Experience Health Care in the United States

This Commonwealth Fund survey of patients with complex medical needs shows that these individuals have far more unmet behavioral health and social service challenges than other adults.

Most frequent healthcare users don’t get the care they need

“Just 10% of patients account for 65% of the nation’s healthcare spending. These patients often have multiple chronic conditions and frequently use healthcare services as a result. Yet, many of these patients aren’t getting the care they need, according to a new survey.  The findings, published by the Commonwealth Fund, found that patients who frequently use healthcare services have greater unmet behavioral health and social needs compared to other adults. In addition, these patients face more barriers to access. The report surveyed 3,009 U.S. adults, 1,805 of whom had two or more major chronic conditions.  The survey found that high-need patients reported higher levels of social isolation compared to others. About 37% of them lack companionship or feel lonely compared to 15% of other adults. Moreover, almost 62% of high-need respondents said they were stressed about essentials like paying for housing, utilities and food. Only about 32% of other adults expressed the same stress.  Oftentimes when social needs aren’t met for people with chronic illnesses their health worsens, said Melinda Abrams, vice president of delivery system reform at the Commonwealth Fund and co-author of the report.”

10 statistics about treating patients with complex needs

The healthcare industry is not meeting the needs of patients with multiple chronic conditions, according to a brief issued by the Commonwealth Fund Dec. 9. The brief analyzed findings from the 2016 Commonwealth Fund Survey of High-Need Patients. Conducted from June 22 through September 14, 2016, 3,009 respondents were interviewed for 15 minutes each via telephone. Of the respondents, 1,805 were qualified as high-need. The Commonwealth Fund survey defined high-need patients as adults with two or more major chronic conditions like heart failure, stroke or diabetes requiring insulin, among other factors.

Web resource compiles promising practices for patients with complex needs

Five health care foundations today released an online resource on promising approaches to improving health outcomes for patients with complex medical, behavioral and social needs. The John A. Hartford Foundation, Peterson Center on Healthcare, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The SCAN Foundation, and The Commonwealth Fund unveiled the resource at a conference sponsored by the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs. In association with the resource, the Commonwealth Fund also released findings from a national survey that found adults with multiple chronic conditions are more likely to report unmet behavioral health and social service needs than other adults.

Online ‘Playbook’ for High-Need Patients Released

A new online “playbook,” designed to improve the care provided to patients with complex needs, including medical, behavioral, and social issues, was launched today at the inaugural meeting of the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs. This new organization is led by Jeffrey Brenner, MD, who is nationally recognized for his work with high-need patients in Camden, New Jersey…”Most of the promising models for high-need patients were able to flourish and be sustained when they were in a value-based payment model,” Abrams said, referring to risk contracts that incentivize providers to lower costs. “So the care model depends on new financial incentive structures and more flexibility for providers to be creative in how they blend physical health services, behavioral health services, personal care for people at home, and meeting some of their nonmedical needs.”

Commonwelath Fund, others offer ‘playbook’ for treating patients with complex needs

“Our research shows that when people with complex needs require medical help, they encounter a healthcare system that’s expensive, inefficient and poorly coordinated,” said David Blumenthal, MD, president of The Commonwealth Fund. “We want to better understand what works for effectively treating these patients, so we can identify gaps, reduce duplication and accelerate what works.”

A new ‘playbook’ for improve care for high-need patients

The Commonwealth Fund recently released a survey detailing the challenges high-need patients face navigating the health care system—as well as a “playbook” website with resources for improving their care. The survey was conducted between June 22 and Sept. 14 and included 3,009 respondents. Overall, 1,805 of the respondents were classified as high-need patients based on factors such as their number of chronic conditions, age, and insurance status. According to the survey, high-need patients are generally older, have lower levels of education and income, are disproportionally female, and are disproportionately African-American.

Addressing patients’ social needs could help reduce costs, ER usage, finds Commonwealth

By focusing better on the needs of the 10 percent of patients who have two or more major chronic conditions, especially since they account for about 65 percent of the nation’s healthcare expenditures, organizations can make great strides in controlling spending, according to a new study by The Commonwealth Fund. Strategies such as patient-centered communication and enabling easier access can reduce unnecessary emergency department visits and help patients avoid delays in their care, thereby avoiding some of the factors that drive up the country’s healthcare costs, the study found.

Access to Care, Communication Aid Chronic Disease Patients

Forty-four percent of chronic disease patients report difficulty with access to care, and 43 percent report issues with provider communication. Chronic disease patients tend to experience more healthcare challenges and incur higher costs, but with strong patient-provider communication and more convenient access to care, healthcare professionals can help mediate those issues, according to a report from the Commonwealth Fund. By looking at responses from the nearly 1,805 patients categorized as high-needs in the 2016 Survey of High Needs Patients – meaning they were older, had lower levels of income and education, and had two or more chronic illnesses – the researchers determined that better assessment of patient needs can result in better care and potentially lower costs.

Recent Developments in Patient Engagement and Healthcare Cost Initiatives

  • JD Supra – Monday, December 12, 2016

In the wake of the recent flurry of commentary on the answer to the question of “What will happen to the Affordable Care Act?” the Commonwealth Fund released a new survey addressing how high-needs patients experience health care in the United States.  The survey underscores what many in the health care sector already know: that a small minority of patients (according to the survey, 10%), account for the majority (according to the survey, 65%), of healthcare spending in the United States.  The survey brings to light the ever-elusive question, the answer to which still remains unclear: how do we as a nation lower healthcare costs and improve population health?

Dr David Blumenthal on the Origins of “The Playbook”

  • AJMC – Monday, December 12, 2016

After realizing that improving care for the sickest, most expensive patients is crucial to a high-performing healthcare system, 5 philanthropic organizations joined forces to create “The Playbook: Better Care for People With Complex Needs,” said David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, president of The Commonwealth Fund.

Report: High-need patients need more help

Nearly all patients with complex health needs (95%) report problems with the coordination of their care, according to a new Commonwealth Fund

Complex Care ‘Playbook’ Addresses Medical, Social Needs

Health systems, medical professionals and payers looking for effective ways to treat high-utilization patients that have complex medical and social needs have a new online resource. Drafted at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, The Playbook: Better Care for People with Complex Needs compiles and shares examples of successful approaches to care, guidance on making the business case for these models, and opportunities for policy and payment reform.