This resource is the product of a collaborative assessment on strategies for better serving high-need patients convened by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Activities included workshops, a literature review, and a synthesis of the work and proceedings.
Key points include:
- The high-need population is disproportionately older, female, white, less educated, and more likely to be publicly insured.
- A taxonomy of high-need patients can help match the appropriate care model or care team with particular patient segments. This paper includes a preliminary “starter taxonomy” that can be further refined.
- The most successful programs focus on either a targeted age group with broad combinations of diagnoses or individuals classified as high-utilizers.
- Features of successful organizational culture include leadership engagement, customization to the local context, strong team relationships, appropriate training, continuous assessment, and the use of multiple sources of data.
- An opportunity for progress in better serving high-need patients could come from combining Medicare and Medicaid funding streams for dual-eligible patients into an integrated, flexible structure to address the full range of patient needs.
- Academic health centers and professional societies should collaborate on developing new training and certification opportunities that focus on the treatment and social support needs of high-need patients.
- How can the high-need population be identified, defined, and usefully segmented?
- What are some common features of successful models of care for high-need individuals?
- What are some opportunities for improving policy to address the needs of these patients?