Blog.cardiosource.org: October 9, 2012
This post is authored by Gary Puckrein, PhD, president and chief executive officer of the National Minority Quality Forum.
Physicians and the medical community have reached a fork in the road: we need to document that quality and reduced costs are related. By doing so, we hope to offer policymakers a new framework in which to measure the value of medicine. The conjectures:
- An avoidable mortality index can be an indicator of unnecessary acute events (disease, hospitalizations, disability and death) in a population. Such an index may have utility in localizing the performance of our health care system, thus enabling the investigation of gaps in outcomes of care.
- There are signals that avoidable acute events are non-random occurrences. There is a possibility that they manifest at predictable frequencies within clinical and geographic sub-populations, and are sentinels of health care and health status disparities.
- Unnecessary acute events have financial implications. At least one study found that36% of diabetes-related hospitalizations were avoidable. If that percentage holds true for Medicare beneficiaries, the savings could well be over $10 billion per year.
- By reducing unnecessary acute events, we may be able to establish an association between improved quality and bending the cost curve, thereby offering a counterpoint to those who believe reducing provider reimbursements is a desirable cost savings device.
The American College of Cardiology, the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists have joined forces to put our conjectures to the test and have formed theCardioMetabolic Health Alliance. Read more