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Research Addressing the HHS Strategic Framework on Multiple Chronic Conditions

Abt Global developed two white papers for the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) to inform U.S. health policy regarding a national research agenda for studying multiple chronic conditions (MCCs). This work is critically important to the U.S. healthcare system and will help shape the delivery of healthcare services to more than 21 million Medicare beneficiaries with two or more MCCs. The white papers are:

Understanding the High Prevalence of Low-Prevalence Chronic Disease Combinations – Databases and Methods for Research: The first paper describes existing data systems and datasets which can be analyzed to improve understanding of, and approaches to, identifying and studying less prevalent combinations of chronic conditions in the Medicare fee for service and other MCC populations. The report highlights data systems and datasets that contain diagnosis, utilization, and cost variables. This paper also provides the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with evidence-based recommendations describing the research methods that should be taken into consideration when conducting research on less prevalent combinations of MCCs.

Understanding Disparities in Persons with Multiple Chronic Conditions – Research Approaches and Datasets: The second paper describes existing data systems and datasets that can be analyzed to improve understanding of and approaches to studying disparities populations with MCCs. Abt reviewed and evaluated existing data systems and datasets to determine their appropriateness for studying MCCs and disparities-relevant information such as socioeconomic status, demographic information and functional status. This white paper outlines methodological practices that should be utilized in future MCC and disparities research. It also raises other considerations for future research, including specific definitional and conceptual work, and research infrastructure development to help move the MCC and disparities field forward.

Abt prepared a final report and a federal briefing to summarize the findings from this project. To develop these materials, we collected, summarized and synthesized information from the following sources:
  • Feedback and input from an HHS Technical Advisory Group organized and convened by Abt;
  • Articles, briefings and materials from both a peer-reviewed and grey literature search; and
  • Information gathered during 20 telephone interviews with key stakeholders who are either conducting MCC research or are working with datasets relevant to MCC research. 
North America