Dissemination of current medical evidence and innovative practices can take decades for widespread adoption. That lag in adoption can lead to health disparities, differences in quality of care, waste and unnecessary costs for consumers and the health system. The role of health plans in disseminating research has largely been unexamined. Health plans, particularly those that integrate financing and the delivery of care, have strong incentives to influence providers to rapidly adopt proven and effective clinical practices, ranging from improving patient outcomes to achieving quality ratings and cost control goals. As PCORI and others foster research on the effectiveness of treatments, it will be essential to draw on the best practices of organizations that are skilled in disseminating information and changing behavior to better the health and experience of patients.
ACHP member plans have achieved their reputation for high quality and superior customer experience largely by developing close relationships with clinicians. Those deep relationships enable the plans to shape clinical practice patterns to improve quality and efficiency – and they have used various approaches to do so.
ACHP proposes to capture best dissemination practices that have been effectively used by nearly two dozen high quality health plans in changing clinical behavior and improving patient outcomes. Those best dissemination practices would cover both the content of information and the process for dissemination and adoption that others – health plans, health systems, policymakers, government purchasers – can draw on when disseminating research findings. A report of the findings will be developed and released to the public in Winter-Spring 2018.