Consider, for a moment, some statistics [1]:

  • 28% of US adults report that they have at least two chronic conditions.
  • 26% of US adults say that they had experienced emotional distress in the past year that was difficult to cope with alone.
  • US adults were more likely than adults in all other countries to report that they were “always” or “usually” worrying about having enough money to buy nutritious meals and to pay their rent or mortgage.

It is not just the complex disease profile and treatment plan. In fact, those well-crafted plans can be easily derailed if the conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play are contributing to stress and lack of an ability to heal.

Patient conditions are not only clinical. They might be a cancer patient living in a shelter and facing daily transportation issues to get to chemotherapy…or a recent overdose or behavioral health illness patient who needs hand-holding to elect treatment…or a low-income diabetes patient with unstable access to nutritious food. The list goes on doesn’t it? The role of the Care Team is rooted in the disease. However, the disease requires a full understanding of the patient’s personal situation & environment in order to truly care for them and talk to them in an impactful way. It is the only way to really help them, reduce costs, and improve the system.

[1] Health Affairs, November 16, 2016