Improving Health Outcomes
Since our founding in 1847, the American Medical Association has focused on the health of patients. Now we are evolving our leadership in this area toward improving health outcomes for two of the nation’s most troubling and wide-spread issues: Cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Cardiovascular disease causes one-third of all deaths in the United States while more than one-third of adults have prediabetes or diabetes. Together, these two disease burdens cost our health care system more than $500 billion dollars annually.
Because nearly every physician across all specialties and practices will see patients with these diseases, the AMA’s work will seek to promote health equity and credible data for informed patient-physician decision-making.
In 2013 the AMA will bolster work already underway across organized medicine, the private/public sector, local communities and the federal government to reduce the significant burdens associated with these two disease conditions. The AMA will focus on achieving specific improvements in the number of U.S. adults with blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels at recommended goals.
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
To address cardiovascular disease, the AMA will begin by focusing on hypertension.
- The AMA’s initial work in hypertension— the No. 1 risk factor worldwide for both disability and death—will be in partnership with the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, a research institute within the Johns Hopkins University.
- The AMA and Armstrong Institute, in concert with the Department of Health and Human Services’“Million Hearts®” initiative to have 10 million more Americans with blood pressure at goal by 2017, will focus efforts initially on the population of patients with hypertension and a source of care but whose blood pressure is not at goal—more than 30 million individuals.
To address type 2 diabetes, the AMA will begin by focusing on prediabetes.
- Prediabetes is a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. To help prevent diabetes and its associated health complications, and in support of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, the AMA will work with the YMCA of the USA.
- Specifically, the AMA will work to increase physician referrals of individuals with prediabetes to evidence-based diabetes prevention programs at community YMCA locations and establish bidirectional communication with physicians.
The AMA’s goal is to demonstrate
- Improvements in clinical and patient- reported outcomes
- Ensure health equity
- Reduce unwarranted variation in care
- Advance the quality and safety of health care
- Contribute to the appropriate use of finite health care resources
Collaborating with other experts and leaders focused on outcomes, these are the first steps toward the AMA’s ambitious, long-term objective of achieving measurable improvements in health outcomes for patients in the United States.
As we help navigate a path toward successfully improving the effectiveness, affordability and equity of health care, the AMA will emerge as a key and respected leader in improving health outcomes.