Measuring performance, coordinating care both crucial to lowering costs among the chronically ill, report says

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The federal government should take advantage of Affordable Care Act funds to improve the coordination and quality of care for the chronically ill, a new report recommends.

Up to $893 billion over the next 10 years could be saved by the federal government by focusing on the top 50 to 100 communities with the highest rates of chronically ill people, according to a new report from Commonwealth Fund. The report advises HHS to improve primary care delivery, enact payment reform and leverage health information technology as a means of saving costs.

The chronically ill, for this report, refer to individuals with multiple chronic conditions, a group that is common in nursing homes.

To measure the results of such efforts, the Commonwealth Fund says HHS should set improvement targets, which currently are being tracked by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. HHS should seek to double the median annual rate of improvement in quality metrics, to 4.6%, by 2016, according to the report.

Click here to read the full report, titled “The Performance Improvement Imperative: Utilizing a Coordinated, Community-Based Approach to Lower Costs and Enhance Care for Chronically Ill Patients.”

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