I want to re-word the title of a list;

Most Expensive Patients

So it doesn't sound like there is a negative burdensome connotation with the word Expensive i.e. it's not their fault they have the highest costs associated with them. I have tried "Most Costliest Patients" but that too doesn't feel right, is there a word I can substitute for Expensive that is more neutral.

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    Neediest lacks the element of cost and infers a judgement that I am not qualified to make.
    – Naz
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 16:03
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    Since you're happy to say it's not their fault they have the highest costs associated with them, what's wrong with just assigning them to the High Cost category? Or Resource-intensive if you want to distance yourself further from "financial" yardsticks. Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 16:14
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    @Edwin: Given one patient about to die from dehydration, and another needing a hip replacement, I'd say the first one was the "neediest" (he really needs urgent attention!), even though the cost of his glass of water would be nugatory compared to the cost of the operation (which it wouldn't be the end of the world if it were delayed or even cancelled). Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 16:19
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    Possible duplicate of Single-word antonym for "cheapest"?
    – Xanne
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 19:46
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    @Mari-LouA why are you so eager to close? The question is perfectly valid in my opinion.
    – Stefan
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 20:03

1 Answer 1


the most resource-intensive patients

This is a less crass way of saying the most expensive patients, because it conjures up a mental picture of devoted people spending time with patients rather than money being spent on patients.

The result is the same, of course. All these highly skilled people must be paid for their time. Resource-intensive patients require a lot of attention from doctors, physician's assistants, nurses, technicians, therapists, nursing assistants, dieticians and aides, and also usually require many tests, high-tech monitoring and lots of medicines. All of this is expensive.

The results can be miraculous.

A resource-intensive task is one that requires a lot of resources, often but not always over a limited period of time. Resource, from Dictionary.com:

a source of supply, support, or aid, especially one that can be readily drawn upon when needed.

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