The Commonwealth Fund, The John A. Hartford Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Peterson Center on Healthcare and The SCAN Foundation are joining to form a collaboration to improve care delivery for the chronically ill, who often have multiple conditions but the least ability to care for themselves.
Those with chronic illness comprise only five percent of the population, yet account for 50 percent of healthcare spending. They also tend to be disproportionately exposed to poorer quality of care and lack of access—and their numbers are growing as the U.S. population ages.
“Improving care for high-need, high-cost patients is a priority for the country, particularly with an aging population and the corresponding stress on the economy,” noted David Blumenthal, MD, President of The Commonwealth Fund, in a press release about the initiative. “Focusing on the needs of these patients is not only critical to their well-being, but is crucial to making their care affordable.”
This at-risk population needs a national model of coordinated medical and social services, said leaders from the five foundations in a co-authored perspective published today in the online New England Journal of Medicine.
“Providing better care for older adults and others with complex health and social needs—many of them our aging parents, grandparents, and neighbors—is both a moral imperative and our best opportunity to achieve a more financially sustainable health care system,” said Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, President of The John A. Hartford Foundation, in a press announcement. “This extraordinary collaboration to spread proven models of care has the potential to dramatically improve lives and create a better society for us all.”
The collaborative plans to release more information later this year.