Recent updates provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Multiple Chronic Conditions (MCC) Research Network aim to improve understanding about how best to care for the growing number of individuals living with multiple chronic conditions (MCC). The supplement titled, Advancing the Field: Results from the AHRQ Multiple Chronic Conditions Research Network offers readers research and commentaries based upon grants funded by AHRQ.

A recent news release from the organization notes that AHRQ MCC Research Network supports the US Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Multiple Chronic Conditions Strategic Framework and the HHS Initiative on Multiple Chronic Conditions, a public-private sector partnership to address the needs of individuals living with MCC and the health systems that serve them.

Richard Kronick, PhD, AHRQ director, notes that the special issue, which can accessed on the Medical Care website, “presents important evidence that can help ensure safe and high quality healthcare for the growing number of people who live with more than one ongoing condition.”

The release reports that it is estimated more than one-fourth of all Americans and two-thirds of older adults are living with MCC, which is defined as two or more chronic physical or behavioral health problems. Care for patients with MCC reportedly accounts for an estimated two-thirds of the nation’s nearly $3 trillion in total healthcare spending. The release adds that as the US population continues to age, the number of individuals with MCC is also increasing and by 2030, there are expected to be more than 170 million Americans living with at least one chronic condition.

The supplement is comprised of 12 original research papers that reflect the range of challenging questions requiring evidence to improve the care of patients with MCC. Topics included in the papers encompass conditions adding the most to the costs of MCC, sources of “unexplained and potentially unwarranted variations” in treatment for patients with MCC and the appropriateness of current treatment guidelines for patients with MCC.

The MCC research also emphasizes that a “one-size fits all” approach cannot capture the range of combinations of conditions and contributing factors seen in patients with MCC. Guest editors Mary E. Tinetti, MD, Yale University, and Jayasree Basu, PhD, MBA, AHRQ, also spotlight priorities for MCC research, which includes further development of research methods, and improvement of treatment guidelines and of the healthcare system’s ability to meet the needs of patients with MCC.

According to the release, highlights from the special issue will be available via a webinar slated for February 25 at 3:00 pm EST.

Source(s): AHRQ, Medical Care, Wolters Kluwer Health