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#TBT: Health Care Quality Has Long Been an Important Issue

October 30, 2014

As part of our “Throwback Thursday” blog series, we’re taking a look at a topic that’s currently in the news and tagging it with previous research, videos or commentaries in a relevant way. As the saying goes, “what’s old is new again” – and we hope you enjoy our wonky twist on #TBT.

Today the National Pharmaceutical Council, in conjunction with the National Health Council, the Pharmacy Quality Alliance and 17 cosponsors, is hosting a conference, Mind the Gap: Improving Quality Measurement in Accountable Care Systems.
 
This isn’t the first time that NPC has taken a look at this important topic, but with today’s conference and recent research examining the gaps in quality measures, we’re certainly shining a brighter spotlight on the issue.

Back in the late 1990s and 2000s, as many states began to implement strategies to better identify the needs of their populations to provide optimal health care, disease management programs increasingly became an integral part of legislative, HMO and employer agendas. Disease management refers to a system of coordinated health care interventions for populations with conditions in which patient self-care efforts are significant. The goal of disease management programs is to optimize therapy, which should improve outcomes and decrease overall expenditures associated with a disease.*

Much like quality measures today, disease management programs were focused on these principles, among others:

  • Routine reporting and feedback to the health care providers and to the patient.
  • Communication and collaboration among providers and between the patient and the patient’s providers.
  • Collection and analysis of process and outcomes measures, along with a system to make necessary changes based on the findings of the process and outcomes measures.**

Throughout the 2000s, we conducted several studies that examined some of these initiatives centered on evidence-based care for patients with chronic conditions, cost interventions at the state Medicaid level, and promoting the adoption of healthy lifestyles, thus helping chronic disease patients achieve optimal health.

Among these studies are our two #TBT picks, Disease Management for Diabetes and Improving and Measuring Osteoporosis Management.

It’s clear that health care quality has—and will continue to be—an important issue for a long time. In the meantime, we’re hoping to move the conversation forward during our discussion with health care thought leaders today.

---------------------------------

* Disease Management & Medicaid Health Outcomes Management
** Disease Management for Diabetes.

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