Health Care Delivery
More than a quarter of all Americans—and two out of three older Americans—are estimated to have at least two chronic physical or behavioral health problems. Treatment for people living with these multiple chronic conditions (MCC) currently accounts for an estimated 66% of the Nation's health care costs. As the U.S. population ages, the number of patients with MCC continues to grow. This mounting challenge has become a major public health issue that is linked to suboptimal health outcomes and rising health care costs.
As part of its ongoing effort to improve care for patients with MCC through evidence-based research, AHRQ has funded the AHRQ MCC Research Network. The Network aligns with a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) effort to address MCC issues. In December 2010, HHS issued its new “Strategic Framework on Multiple Chronic Conditions,” designed to further research that will address the challenges of MCC. (For more information, go to: Improving Health for Individuals With Multiple Chronic Conditions: Recent Actions by HHS Agencies.)
AHRQ's efforts directly help to implement a key goal of the HHS Strategic Framework: to increase clinical, community, and patient-centered health research on MCC. For a full inventory of HHS programs, activities, and initiatives on improving the health of individuals with MCC, visit http://www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/mcc/mcc-inventory-20111018.pdf.
To read a featured story about caring for patients with MCC in AHRQ's Research Activities, go to: http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/sep11/index.html.
AHRQ's MCC Research Network aims to improve understanding about interventions that provide the greatest benefit to MCC patients, the safety and effectiveness of interventions that may be affected by MCC, and interventions that may need to be modified for specific patient populations. Over time, this foundational research can begin to help our country meet the needs of Americans living with MCC.
The MCC Research Network includes 18 original grants funded in 2008 (two of which received additional funding in 2009), 27 grants funded in 2010 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and a Learning Network and Technical Assistance Center designed to support the overall effort. Collectively, the AHRQ MCC Research Network works to advance the field of MCC research, provide needed guidance for clinicians and patients, and advise policymakers about improved methods to measure and promote quality care for complex patients. The details of the projects funded by AHRQ are as follows:
In addition, members of the AHRQ MCC Research Network recorded three brief presentations at the 2011 AHRQ Annual Conference during a session hosted by AHRQ's Prevention and Chronic Care Program. For more information on these videos, go to http://www.ahrq.gov/news/events/conference/2011/video/index.html.
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