PHS 795 student Scott Reetz writes:
Dr. David Blumenthal of the Commonwealth Fund has authored a prospective paper in the most recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine which I found to be a current example representing the public health frameworks discussed in class. In the article, Dr. Blumenthal raises the concern that in our current health care environment, 5% of patients account for 50% of healthcare expenditures in our country – a figure that is likely to worsen according to his estimations. These High Need High Cost patients, as he labels them, represent a diverse population of patients and as such requires an equally diverse understanding of these patients’ varying health care needs and the factors contributing to their ailments. I found this article particularly optimistic because Dr. Blumenthal felt confident that the transition from a fee-for-service reimbursement model to a value-based payment system in American healthcare may incentivize providers to take a more collaborative multi-disciplinary approach to target the social support and environmental factors that have led to adverse health outcomes for these patients. There is an accompanying interview with Dr. Blumenthal that I found to be equally thought-provoking, as well.