New Fund Research: Integrated Medical Groups; Chronic Disease Care; and Physicians' Social Responsibility

eAlert 76214673-810f-4134-9a27-5675b331184e

<p>Three recent Commonwealth Fund-supported studies examine key issues related to quality of care and the public role of physicians:<br><br><ul><li>A study that evaluates the link between the organizational structure of physicians' practices and quality of care finds that integrated medical groups provide higher quality than individual practice associations on selected measures of preventive care and chronic disease management. The authors of "<a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=26206&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D441139%26%23doc441139">Do Integrated Medical Groups Provide Higher-Quality Medical Care than Individual Practice Associations?</a>" believe that centralized decision-making and close collaboration in integrated groups may account for the better performance. The study, which appeared in <em>Annals of Internal Medicine,</em> was conducted by Ateev Mehrotra, M.D., of RAND Health and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Arnold M. Epstein, M.D., and Meredith B. Rosenthal, Ph.D., both from the Harvard School of Public Health.</li><br><li>Publicly funded community health centers (CHCs) provide care to more than 15 million Americans, including many minority patients, and this number is likely to grow. In a new <em>Health Affairs</em> study, "<a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=26207&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D439950%26%23doc439950">The Quality of Chronic Disease Care in U.S. Community Health Centers</a>," a research team led by Harvard Medical School's LeRoi S. Hicks, M.D., examined the medical records of patients in 64 CHCs who received care for asthma, diabetes, or hypertension. They found that while CHCs provide care that is on par with other care settings, gaps in quality exist, particularly for uninsured patients.</li><br><li>In the recent article, "<a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=26208&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D441368%26%23doc441368">Public Roles of U.S. Physicians: Community Participation, Political Involvement, and Collective Advocacy</a>," published in the <em>Journal of the American Medical Association,</em> former Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow Russell L. Gruen, Ph.D., and his colleagues examine the sense of social responsibility physicians have beyond the doors of their practices. Nearly all primary care physicians surveyed for the study--more than 90 percent--believe doctors should play public roles. Moreover, two-thirds of respondents are actively involved in community activities, political work, or advocacy. Gruen, who is based at the University of Melbourne, Australia, collaborated with Eric G. Campbell, Ph.D., and David Blumenthal, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.</li></ul><br><br>While you are on the Fund Web site, visit <a href="/chartcart/chartcart.htm">Chart Cart</a>, a resource offering free and convenient access to Commonwealth Fund charts. This rich collection of graphical data is available for you to use in your own research and presentations.</p>