The American College of Physicians (ACP) and Consumer Reports jointly announced yesterday that they will work together to produce a new series of “High Value Care” guides to help patients understand what are appropriate treatments for common health problems.
The High Value Care guides will include videos, brochures, and other publications and resources that “will help patients understand the benefits, risks, and appropriateness of tests and treatment options for common clinical issues so that they can make informed decisions about how to improve their health,” the organizations said in a joint press release issued on April 19, 2012. “The resources will be derived from ACP’s evidence-based clinical practice recommendations published in Annals of Internal Medicine,” the ACP’s medical journal, the release said.
Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP, the Executive Vice President and CEO of ACP, said that “ACP began this initiative two years ago to help physicians provide the best possible care to their patients while simultaneously reducing unnecessary costs to the health care system.”
John Santa, MD, MPH, the Director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, said, “We are jointly committed to putting the brakes on over-testing and over-treatment and we agree that consumers will benefit when either patients or doctors initiate conversations about these delicate issues.”
For its initial High Value Care guides, the ACP and Consumer Reports chose the topics of Lower Back Pain and Type 2 Diabetes, because these are conditions commonly experienced by patients, the organizations said.
- A High Value Care report on: Imaging Tests for Lower-Back Pain: Why You Probably Don’t Need Them (a PDF Document);
- A Video about Lower-Back Pain:
- A High Value Care report on Choosing a type 2 diabetes drug; Why the best first choice is often the oldest drug
The ACP & Consumer Reports Joint Announcement
Following is the joint press release issued by the American College of Physicians (ACP) and Consumer Reports on April 19, 2012:
American College of Physicians and Consumer Reports Announce Collaboration on New High Value Care Patient Education Resources
Nation’s leading organization of internists and nation’s leading consumer organization will help patients understand appropriate treatments for common clinical issues
April 19, 2012 — The American College of Physicians (ACP) and Consumer Reports today announced a new collaborative effort to create a series of High Value Care resources to help patients understand the benefits, harms, and costs of tests and treatments for common clinical issues. The resources will be derived from ACP’s evidence-based clinical practice recommendations published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
“We are excited to work with Consumer Reports to extend the reach of ACP’s High Value, Cost-Conscious Care Initiative to patients,” said Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP, executive vice president and CEO, ACP. “ACP began this initiative two years ago to help physicians provide the best possible care to their patients while simultaneously reducing unnecessary costs to the health care system. The High Value Care resources will help patients understand the benefits, risks, and appropriateness of tests and treatment options for common clinical issues so that they can make informed decisions about how to improve their health.”
The announcement came during Internal Medicine 2012, ACP’s annual scientific meeting, where the two organizations unveiled the initial pieces of the High Value Care series, two patient brochures about diagnostic imaging for low back pain and oral medications for type 2 diabetes. The High Value Care resources will be available on the websites of ACP (ACPonline.org), Consumer Reports (ConsumerReports.org), and Annals of Internal Medicine (Annals.org).
“We are pleased and excited to have the American College of Physicians as a partner in this sustained effort,” said John Santa, MD, MPH, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. “We are jointly committed to putting the brakes on over-testing and over-treatment and we agree that consumers will benefit when either patients or doctors initiate conversations about these delicate issues.”
The organizations chose the initial topics because they are frequently experienced by patients. Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for a patient to see a physician and many patients with low back pain receive routine imaging. However, in its evidenced-based clinical practice guideline, ACP found strong evidence that routine imaging for low back pain with X-ray or advanced imaging methods such as CT scan or MRI does not improve the health of patients.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, which affects 25.8 million Americans, or 8.3 percent of the U.S. population. In its evidenced-based clinical practice guideline, ACP found that metformin is more effective, less expensive, and has fewer adverse effects compared to other oral drugs as initial drug therapy for type 2 diabetes. The guideline also notes that metformin reduces body weight and improves cholesterol profiles.
In addition to producing patient education brochures and video versions of the High Value Care content, Consumer Reports plans to publish information about the clinical topics in Consumer Reports magazine, the Consumer Reports On Health newsletter, and on the ConsumerReports.org website.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 132,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection, and treatment of illness in adults. ACP is the publisher of Annals of Internal Medicine, one of the five most widely cited peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, with a current impact factor of 16.7. The journal has been published for 85 years. It accepts only 7 percent of the original research studies submitted for publication. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.
About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.
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