AJAC Highlights Potential of Connected Care, Patient-Centered Ways to Measure Quality

The June issue of The American Journal of Accountable Care discusses the potential of "connected care," to improve access and cut costs, and proves how what patients say will matter when measuring quality. The publication, from The American Journal of Managed Care, is devoted to research and commentary on healthcare reform.

AJAC Highlights Potential of Connected Care, Patient-Centered Ways to Measure Quality

PLAINSBORO, N.J. — This month’s issue of The American Journal of Accountable Care explores how technology and voices of patients will matter in delivering better care at lower costs—if those seeking a revolution in “telehealth” get some help from the U.S. Congress.

Letting patients “see” the doctor across email, iPads or laptops, which could transform care delivery for those with chronic conditions, according to Krista Drobac, executive director, Alliance for Connected Care, and Clif Gaus, president and CEO, National Association of ACOs. Their article, “Connected Care Is Key to Accountable Care: The Case for Supporting Telehealth in ACOs,” cites findings that show telehealth can reduce hospital readmissions 75 percent, compared with traditional care after a hospital stay.

Thus, they write, Congress should pass legislation to expand Medicare reimbursement to ACOs that use telehealth. ACOs, or accountable care organizations, were created under the Affordable Care Act to improve health across populations, not just for individual patients. Since ACOs are charged with demonstrating savings over projected costs of care, they write, it’s important to give these entities new tools to create savings. For the full article, click here.

The ACA also gives priority to patient-centered outcomes research, or PCOR. Evaluating the success of healthcare based on what patients report, especially in the area of quality of life, has slowly gained ground as an important way to determine if doctors and hospitals are doing a good job. Robert M. Kaplan, PhD, chief science officer for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), traces this history of research in this area and notes that evaluating care from the patient’s point of view may lead to different conclusions.

“The central premise of PCOR is that the goal of medicine and public health is to lengthen human life, and/or improve its quality during the years that people survive,” he writes. This area of research is no less rigorous than traditional investigations, he said. For the full story, click here.

The June issue of AJAC also features coverage from the first live meeting of the ACO and Emerging Healthcare Delivery Coalition, created by The American Journal of Managed Care to give stakeholders from across the healthcare spectrum a way to share best practices as ACOs evolve. For more information about the Coalition, click here.

About the Journal

The American Journal of Managed Care, now in its 20th year of publication, is the leading peer-reviewed journal dedicated to issues in managed care. In December 2013, AJMC launched The American Journal of Accountable Care, which publishes research and commentary devoted to understanding changes to the healthcare system due to the 2010 Affordable Care Act. AJMC’s news publications, the Evidence-Based series, bring together stakeholder views from payers, providers, policymakers and pharmaceutical leaders in the areas of oncology, diabetes management, respiratory care, and immunology and infectious disease.

CONTACT: Nicole Beagin (609) 716-7777 x 131