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Reducing the Complexity of Chronic Conditions

Just 5% of the population accounts for 50% of medical spending. In her monthly message, Dr. Sandra R. Hernandez, the President and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation, ponders what it means to provide care for those people with chronic complex conditions.

DR. Hernandez

Sandra R. Hernández, MD, CHCF President & CEO

As one of CHCF’s goals, ensuring high-value care, Dr. Hernandez describes one population that utilizes a disproportionate amount of services, people with untreated mental illness or substance use disorders leading to poor medical outcomes. She points out that this population uses emergency services may have trouble accessing the integrated services that could make such a considerable difference in stabilizing and improving quality of life.

Dr. Hernandez concedes that it will be difficult to implement change unless supports are built into the system. The path to improvement won’t be easy unless other access points can be created to service high-use patients, as well as lower-risk patients who cannot access care another way.

Behavioral health issues are a major component of high medical spending. The cost of delaying treatment is considerable. Whereas a great many people experience psychological distress, many people delay treatment because of stigma, cost, or lack of access.

Read Dr. Hernandez’ message by clicking HERE.

Delayed chronic condition

 

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