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      Guidelines for Guidelines

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      Blood Purification

      S. Karger AG

      Practice guidelines, Health insurers, Conflicts of interest

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          Abstract

          Practice guidelines are proliferating in medicine. In addition to methodological problems that cause guidelines to be outdated rapidly, they are plagued by conflicts of interest. They are largely consensus opinions of panels of experts, most of whom are supported by industry. Professional societies, health insurers, Centers for Medicare and Medicaide Services, and dialysis providers also benefit from guidelines. Little attention is paid to the potential for harm to patients, and to the profession of medicine, from the widespread use of guidelines.

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          Most cited references 1

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          Pay-for-performance programs in family practices in the United Kingdom.

          In 2004, after a series of national initiatives associated with marked improvements in the quality of care, the National Health Service of the United Kingdom introduced a pay-for-performance contract for family practitioners. This contract increases existing income according to performance with respect to 146 quality indicators covering clinical care for 10 chronic diseases, organization of care, and patient experience. We analyzed data extracted automatically from clinical computing systems for 8105 family practices in England in the first year of the pay-for-performance program (April 2004 through March 2005), data from the U.K. Census, and data on characteristics of individual family practices. We examined the proportion of patients deemed eligible for a clinical quality indicator for whom the indicator was met (reported achievement) and the proportion of the total number of patients with a medical condition for whom a quality indicator was met (population achievement), and we used multiple regression analysis to determine the extent to which practices achieved high scores by classifying patients as ineligible for quality indicators (exception reporting). The median reported achievement in the first year of the new contract was 83.4 percent (interquartile range, 78.2 to 87.0 percent). Sociodemographic characteristics of the patients (age and socioeconomic features) and practices (size of practice, number of patients per practitioner, age of practitioner, and whether the practitioner was medically educated in the United Kingdom) had moderate but significant effects on performance. Exception reporting by practices was not extensive (median rate, 6 percent), but it was the strongest predictor of achievement: a 1 percent increase in the rate of exception reporting was associated with a 0.31 percent increase in reported achievement. Exception reporting was high in a small number of practices: 1 percent of practices excluded more than 15 percent of patients. English family practices attained high levels of achievement in the first year of the new pay-for-performance contract. A small number of practices appear to have achieved high scores by excluding large numbers of patients by exception reporting. More research is needed to determine whether these practices are excluding patients for sound clinical reasons or in order to increase income. Copyright 2006 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            BPU
            Blood Purif
            10.1159/issn.0253-5068
            Blood Purification
            S. Karger AG
            978-3-8055-8237-7
            978-3-318-01434-1
            0253-5068
            1421-9735
            2007
            December 2006
            14 December 2006
            : 25
            : 1
            : 36-38
            Affiliations
            Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, N.Y., USA, and St. Bortolo Hospital, Vicenza, Italy
            Article
            96395 Blood Purif 2007;25:36–38
            10.1159/000096395
            17170535
            © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

            Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

            Page count
            References: 5, Pages: 3
            Product
            Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/96395
            Categories
            Paper

            Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

            Health insurers, Conflicts of interest, Practice guidelines

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