By age 52, Mary had had more than her fair share of encounters with the healthcare system. Despite her relative youth, she was plagued with multiple severe co-morbidities, including ulcerative colitis, mood disorder, and coronary artery disease, all of which required a variety of medications. She spent so much time in her doctor’s office that she was on a first-name basis with most of its staff. In 2013, she spent a total of 53 days in the hospital, was admitted 15 times, and made 30 visits to the ER. On nine occasions, she was so unwell that she was back in a hospital bed within 30 days of her last discharge. The total cost of Mary’s care that year was over $380,000.
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