What is the definition of complex populations?

The term “complex populations” is frequently used in health care to refer to individuals who have particularly complicated medical, behavioral health, and social needs, and who may interact with the health care system at a disproportionately high rate compared to the general population. This group is sometimes also referred to as “high-need, high-cost,” reflecting that the frequency with which they use health care services often leads to them incur high health care costs.

Complex populations may experience one or more of the following:

  • Frequent visits to the emergency department for preventable conditions;
  • Fragmented care from a variety of providers;
  • Multiple chronic health conditions;
  • High rates of mental health diagnoses and substance use disorders;
  • Homelessness or housing instability;
  • A history of physical, emotional, or sexual trauma;
  • Social and financial instability;
  • Involvement with the criminal justice system; and
  • Interactions with a variety of social safety net agencies and organizations.

This population’s needs represent an opportunity to improve quality of care and reduce avoidable health care expenditures.

What are the selection criteria for products to be included in CHCS’ Digital Health Products for Complex Populations database?

All products included in this database are reviewed by CHCS staff against a set of criteria, including:

  • Previous use with or clear applicability to low-income individuals with complex needs;
  • Pilot program or paying customer relationship with at least two organizations (such as health systems, government entities, health plans, self-insured business, or providers);
  • Demonstrated results;
  • Industry compliant privacy and security standards; and
  • A stand-alone, marketable technology.

Can my product be included in the database?

If you have a product that you think would be a good fit for inclusion in CHCS’ Digital Health Products for Complex Populations database and meets the selection criteria above, please complete this application. CHCS will follow-up once your application is received and reviewed.

What if I have additional questions or need to update information about a product that is already in the database?

Please send us an email at digitalhealth@chcs.org.