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October 21, 2008

Contact: Carl Graziano
Vice President, Strategic Communications
(202) 737-5781

DMAA White Paper Examines Commonalities of
Medical Home, Population Health

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chronic disease management programs offer physician practices a path to national recognition as a medical home—especially smaller practices unable to invest in the health information technology necessary for recognition, DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance suggests in a new white paper.

"In fact, if based on the underlying principles used to create each of the standard sets, it can be argued that the integration of an NCQA-accredited disease management organization in a physician practice supports every one of the elements" in National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) medical home criteria, DMAA says in the paper, "The Medical Home and Population Health Improvement: Common Ground."

DMAA compares side-by-side the criteria for NCQA "Physician Practice Connections—Patient-Centered Medical Home" (PPC-PCMH) recognition and that used for NCQA Disease Management Accreditation. The paper notes significant overlap between the IT resources required for disease management accreditation and those for medical home recognition.

"This analysis suggests that adoption of a typical disease management organization's IT process could theoretically fulfill more than half the points necessary to achieve PPC-PCMH recognition," DMAA says.

"Population health improvement strategies, such as disease management, provide significant support for the patient-centered medical home," DMAA President and CEO Tracey Moorhead says. "Combined, the complementary strengths of the medical home and population health improvement translate to improved health outcomes and a cost-effective approach to chronic condition care in a physician practice."

The white paper offers a brief history of both the medical home and disease management and finds many common features in addition to use of IT: Both emphasize a population-based approach; accept responsibility for clinical and financial outcomes; rely on evidence-based clinical guidelines; embrace the value of non-physician health care providers, such as case managers; and promote patient self-management.

"Physicians who rely on NCQA-accredited disease management organizations have long understood the valuable contributions these collaborative programs make to the care of chronically ill patients," says Jaan Sidorov, MD, a former DMAA Board member who authored the white paper. "This paper adds context by helping physicians and patients compare and contrast the NCQA standards for disease management with those for medical home recognition."

DMAA recommends that the "under-recognized overlap" in disease management accreditation and medical home recognition be further examined to determine if "cross-recognition" or accreditation is possible and whether the overlapping elements can be used to evaluate the merits of a combined care approach to the cost and quality challenges of chronic illnesses.

DMAA has made the white paper available for download on its Web site, www.dmaa.org.

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About DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance
DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance convenes all stakeholders providing services along the care continuum toward the goal of population health improvement. These care continuum services include strategies such as health and wellness promotion, disease management, and care coordination. DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance promotes the role of population health improvement in raising the quality of care, improving health outcomes and reducing preventable health care costs for individuals with chronic conditions and those at risk for developing chronic conditions. DMAA's activities in support of these efforts include advocacy, research and the promotion of best practices in care management.

DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance represents more than 200 corporate and individual stakeholders—including wellness, disease and care management organizations, pharmaceutical manufacturers and benefit managers, health information technology innovators, biotechnology innovators, employers, physicians, nurses and other health care professionals, and researchers and academicians. Visit DMAA on the Web at www.dmaa.org.

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