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Study: Use of Management Tools for Chronic Conditions Varies Widely

December 16, 2009
by root
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Use of care management tools such as group visits or patient registries varies widely among primary care physicians whose practices care for patients with asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure and depression, according to a national study by the Washington-based Center for Studying Health System Change.

Three-quarters of physicians said they offer written educational materials, but use of other tools for patient education and improved self-care was much lower, the study found. For example, half of physicians reported using non-physician educators, one-third used nurse managers to coordinate care and one-fifth used group visits.

Practice size and setting were strongly related to the likelihood that physicians used care management tools, with solo and smaller group practices least likely to use care management tools, according to the study.

Based on HSC’s nationally representative 2008 Health Tracking Physician Survey, the study findings are detailed in a new HSC Issue Brief — Expectations Outpace Reality: Physicians’ Use of Care Management Tools for Patients with Chronic Conditions, which is available online at

The Center for Studying Health System Change is a nonpartisan policy research organization committed to providing objective research on the nation’s health system to help inform policy makers and contribute to better health care policy. HSC is funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is affiliated with Mathematica Policy Research.

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