DMAA Releases Second Volume of Acclaimed Outcomes Guidelines Report
LAS VEGAS—DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance today issued a second volume of its acclaimed Outcomes Guidelines Report, which over the past year has set an industry consensus standard for measuring clinical and financial outcomes in population health improvement.
Volume II of the groundbreaking Outcomes Guidelines, first published in December 2006, adds key clinical outcomes measures developed jointly by DMAA and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). It also reflects contributions by other quality leaders, including URAC, and representatives from more than 100 DMAA corporate members and partners.
"Today, we elevate our Outcomes Guidelines to a valuable new level," DMAA President and CEO Tracey Moorhead said. "Health care purchasers and payers demand and deserve credible measures of clinical outcomes, as well as financial, and our new guidelines answer that call."
Moorhead praised the NCQA contributions to development and vetting of the document's guidance on clinical measures. "NCQA is a clear market leader in quality, and their assistance was invaluable in our efforts to ensure appropriate clinical metrics," she said.
In addition to new clinical measures, the Volume II Guidelines build on and refine recommendations in Volume I, which focused primarily on measuring financial outcomes in disease management and population health programs. Volume II also includes a wellness program model and definition and recommendations for evaluating impact on small populations, two key areas for development identified through stakeholder comment on the first volume.
"Our Outcomes Project, from the start, has strongly emphasized a transparent and inclusive development process, and this new document certainly reflects that," said Donald Fetterolf, MD, who co-chairs the DMAA Outcomes Steering Committee with independent consultant and DMAA Board of Directors member Sue Jennings, PhD.
Dr. Fetterolf, a former DMAA Board member and former chair of the organization's Quality and Research Committee, said the new guidelines, like Volume I, strike a balance between scientific rigor and practical application. "A guiding principle through our Outcomes process has been to ensure the measures can be readily applied in real-world settings, while maintaining their scientific integrity. The Volume II guidelines, like Volume I, accomplish that."
DMAA laid the groundwork for the Outcomes Guidelines Report with its earlier "Disease Management Program Evaluation Guide" and "Dictionary of Disease Management Terminology," now in a second edition. In late 2005, DMAA developed a member survey to determine common industry practices for measuring disease management program outcomes and formally launched its Outcomes Project in January 2006.
The project sought to answer concerns about inconsistency in program measurement, which raised questions about disease management's value. Jennings said DMAA and its partner stakeholders have made great progress toward erasing those concerns. "Our Volume II guidelines build on the momentum we created with Volume I for establishing a sound foundation for program measurement," she said. "Purchasers and payers now understand that they can fairly evaluate their population health efforts and clearly demonstrate value."
Gordon Norman, MD, current chair of the Quality and Research Committee, said DMAA has already started planning for a third volume of the guidelines and expects to start development in earnest after the organization's September annual conference. "We will continue collaboration with NCQA and others to expand and refine measures in all areas and, in particular, to build on the work we have undertaken in Volumes I and II to develop methods and measures that allow meaningful comparisons across programs," Dr. Norman said.
DMAA is offering a copy of the report's "topline" recommendations on its Web site. The complete report will soon be available for purchase through the DMAA site, at www.dmaa.org.
# # #
About DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance