By Kelly A. Briganti, Editorial Director, G2 Intelligence
As part of the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, the Health and Human Services’ Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services is awarding $685 million to 39 national and regional health care networks and supporting organizations to “improve quality of care, increase patients’ access to information and reduce costs.” Many of the programs benefitting are targeting unnecessary diagnostic tests as part of their efforts to improve care.
“Supporting doctors and other health care professionals change the way they work is critical to improving quality and spending our health care dollars more wisely,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell in a statement. “These awards will give patients more of the information they need to make informed decisions about their care and give clinicians access to information and support to improve care coordination and quality outcomes.”
The awards fund two different types of initiatives: 1) efforts by medical groups and regional health care systems to improve communication between clinicians and patients, better manage chronic disease, and centralize data reporting and 2) activities of national organizations and health care professional associations aimed at aligning clinical practice guidelines across specialties, sharing best practices and promoting education about and access to registry data.
The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative consists of 29 Practice Transformation Networks and 10 Support and Alignment Networks. Practice Transformation Networks are learning networks that provide support for clinicians to develop core competencies, help improve chronic disease management and increase patient access. Support and Alignment Networks promote practice transformation through continuing education, generating evidence-based guidelines and formation of collaboratives to address, among other things, unnecessary testing.