Physician Practice

AAFP supports commission that would study complex chronic disease care

Physician Practice Insider, March 7, 2017

A bill that aims to create a federal commission focuses on prevention and treatment of complex diseases earned the support of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). The AAFP announced its support February 28. The bill, H.R. 309—National Clinical Care Commission Act, passed the House of Representatives without amendment January 9.

The bill would establish a National Clinical Care Commission within the Department of Health and Human Services. The commission would evaluate and recommend solutions to better coordinate and leverage federal programs that support clinical care for individuals with complex metabolic or autoimmune diseases, diabetes, or complications caused by these diseases.

The proposed duties of the commission would include:

  • Evaluating and expanding education and awareness activities provided to health care professionals
  • Evaluating HHS programs regarding the utilization of preventive health benefits
  • Identifying current activities and gaps in federal efforts to support clinicians in providing integrated care
  • Making recommendations regarding the development and coordination of federally funded clinical practice support tools
  • Recommending clinical pathways for new technologies and treatments
  • Reviewing and recommending methods for outreach and dissemination of educational resources

The proposed commission originally would have focused on diabetes but was expanded to cover other complex diseases. The Senate should broaden the scope even further and include studying patients with multiple chronic conditions and strategies for changing patient behavior, the AAFP said in a February 15 letter to the bill’s sponsors.

The commission would be made up of primary care physicians, other private citizens, and government officials.

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