Caring for Health Care's Costliest Patients

29 Jan 2014

One percent of Americans account for 20 percent of the nation’s health care costs; five percent account for 50 percent. Who are these patients? They are known as “super-utilizers”—patients who make frequent trips to the emergency room and have many hospital admissions. Often they are alone and need help determining where to go and how to get healthier.

In six of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) sites, communities are reducing ER visits and hospitalizations for super-utilizers. In her new article, “Caring for Health Care’s Costliest,” health policy writer Laura Putre analyzes their innovations while offering firsthand accounts of how these communities are transforming care. Read her story and hear from patients and their health care teams.