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

Jamie Ryan
Melinda K. Abrams
Michelle M. Doty
Tanya Shah
Eric C. Schneider
December 2016

The Commonwealth Fund surveyed patients with complex needs from June to September of 2016, and an analysis of the results reveals that the health care system is failing to meet these patients’ needs.

  • People with complex needs have more behavioral health and social challenges than other adults do.
  • Interventions that could improve these patients’ health include better access to care, good patient-provider communication, and services to meet nonmedical needs.
  • Better-designed health care services could lead to fewer delays in care and less inappropriate use of the emergency department.
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