Health System Performance for the High-Need Patient: A Look at Access to Care and Patient Care Experiences


Achieving a high-performing health system will require improving outcomes and reducing costs for high-need, high-cost patients—those who use the most health care services and account for a disproportionately large share of health care spending. To compare the health care experiences of adults with high needs—those with three or more chronic diseases and a functional limitation in the ability to care for themselves or perform routine daily tasks—to all adults and to those with multiple chronic diseases but no functional limitations. 


  • Introduction
  • Key Findings
    • Greater Spending Does Not Equal Better Care
    • Unmet Medical Need 
    • Ease of Access to Specialists
    • Good Patient–Provider Communication
    • Usual Source of Care and Medical Home
  • Implications
  • How This Study was Conducted
  • Notes
Contact Person/Organization: 

The Commonwealth Fund

Type of Tool:

Publication Date: 

Five National Healthcare Foundations Identify Promising Approaches for Treating High-Need Patients

Transforming relationships for high performance in health services