Healthcare foundations join forces to address high-need, high-cost patients

Five national healthcare foundations have formed a new collaboration to help improve care options for chronically ill patients.

In an article published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, members of The Commonwealth Fund, The John A. Hartford Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Peterson Center on Healthcare, and The SCAN Foundation identified three areas in need of reform:

1) Help health providers and stakeholders develop better understand chronically ill patients population and their needs;

2) Deliver higher-quality, integrated care to these patients while maintaining low costs; and

3) Expedite the implementation of these practices nationwide

“Achieving the promise of value-based healthcare demands transformational change instead of incremental improvements,” said Bruce Chernof, M.D., president & CEO of The SCAN Foundation. Transformation involves coordinated medical and supportive services for high-cost, high-need patients, he said.

Around 5% of the U.S. population consists of chronically ill individuals, according to the the collaboration. Among the 10.2 million Americans who quality for Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligibles), it is estimated the population costs 60% more than non-dual eligible individuals.

Group representatives added that the number of people with chronic illness will continue to rise as the nation's population ages. To address its concerns, the collaboration is working to create evidence-based tools and other resources which will be shared with healthcare providers later this year.