New Accountable Health Care Public Education Program Launched

OAKLAND, Calif., April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), an affiliate of the American Medical Group Association, today announced a new initiative to provide the public, media, and policymakers with resources and information about the value of care coordination and accountable care to national health care reform.  The campaign, called www.5RealAnswers.org, features a series of three micro sites—www.AccountableCareChoices.org (for consumers), www.AccountableCareFacts.org (for the media) and www.AccountableCareStories.org (for policymakers)—which are designed to provide easily accessible tools, research, definitions, case studies, and FAQs about what accountable care should be, why it's important to the health of our country, and how to find it today in America.

Controlling health care costs and improving quality are the goals of the current health reform law, and care coordination, medical homes, and accountable care organizations are touted as potential avenues for achieving those goals.  Across the country, healthcare organizations—medical groups, hospitals, and health plans—are forming partnerships in the belief that the future of health care payment will lie in the ability of these companies to provide value (the best quality for the cost).  As Dr. Atul Gawande wrote in his oft-cited New Yorker article, "The Cost Conundrum," "The lesson of the high-quality, low-cost communities is that someone has to be accountable for the totality of care."

"This campaign strives to illustrate what health care that is accountable and patient-centered can look like when healthcare providers are properly motivated to work together," said  CAPP Chairman, Dr. Francis J. Crosson, also a two-term MedPac appointee. "There are many medical groups and health care organizations in this country that embrace accountability for cost and quality, and as such have become leaders in our industry. They provide care in a way that more Americans should be able to experience.  We want to share our knowledge and best practices so that the general public, media, and policymakers can come to understand what can be achieved when 'systems' of care are aligned in the patient's best interest."

The accountable care philosophy, which is practiced by the CAPP organizations and others, is based on five principles: 1) A patient-centered approach to care that emphasizes primary care and prevention; 2) the use of health information technology to improve information-sharing and communication among providers; 3)  team-based, coordinated care and case management; 4) evidence-based treatment options; and 5) appropriate access to care services to ensure that patients get the right care at the right time.

"If we look at the medical groups and provider organizations that have already accepted accountability and provide the benefits that are expected of accountable care organizations, we believe the foundation exists on which to further develop a patient-focused system that significantly improves quality, provides accountability, and contains cost," Nancy Taylor, CAPP Executive Director, said. "This isn't just the future of health care in America.  In many regions, accountable care already exists today."

The Council of Accountable Physician Practices is a consortium of some of America's most prominent physician-led group practices and organized health systems, such as the Geisinger Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Harvard Vanguard, Group Health, Intermountain Healthcare, HealthPartners, The Permanente Federation, Mayo Health Systems, and others.  CAPP believes that accountability in medicine is a commitment to excellence and value in every important facet of the care experience.  It is the goal of CAPP to 1) demonstrate that accountable physician practices deliver effective, efficient health care that improves clinical outcomes, satisfies patients, and controls costs, and 2) foster the development of accountable physician practices (or accountable care organizations) as a model for U.S. health care system reform.

For more information, contact Toyomi Igus, Communications Director, Council of Accountable Physician Practices, 310-351-0815, tigus@amga-capp.org, or visit www.amga-capp.org. For a complete list of CAPP physician organizations, click here.

SOURCE Council of Accoutable Physician Practices



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