10 statistics about treating patients with complex needs

Morgan Haefner - Print  | 

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.

Here are 10 survey findings represented in the report.

1. Forty-eight percent of high-need respondents were hospitalized overnight in the past two years.

2. Forty-seven percent of high-need respondents went to the emergency department multiple times in the past two years.

3. For conditions that could have been treated by a physician, 19 percent of high-need respondents used the ED instead of a physician's office or a clinic.

4. Forty-four percent of high-need respondents said they delayed care in the past year because of inhibited access. Specifically, 22 percent of high-need respondents reported a lack of transportation as a reason for delaying care.

5. While 95 percent of high-need respondents said they have a regular physician or place of care, only 35 percent said it was somewhat or very easy to get medical care after hours without visiting an ED, compared to 53 percent of other adults.

6. High-need respondents are less likely to report their providers involve them in treatment decisions than other adults (82 percent vs. 90 percent, respectively).

7. Sixty-two percent of high-need respondents did not have good access to services that could help them manage their daily living activities.

8. Fifty-eight percent of high-need respondents did not have good access to an informed and up-to-date care coordinator.

9. Thirty-seven percent of high-need respondents said they felt socially isolated and lacked companionship compared to 15 percent of other adults.

10. Sixty-two percent of high-need respondents said they experience stress about their ability to afford housing, utilities or nutritious meals compared to 32 percent of other adults.   

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