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.
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 are some promising approaches to care for high-need patients?
  • Where is there need for further progress in treating high-need patients?
Level of Evidence
Expert Opinion
What does this mean?