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Disease-specific guidelines are not aligned with multimorbidity care complexity. Meeting all guideline-recommended care for multimorbid patients has been estimated but not demonstrated across multiple guidelines.
Measure guideline-concordant care for patients with multimorbidity; assess in what types of care and by whom (clinician or patient) deviation from guidelines occurs and evaluate whether patient characteristics are associated with concordance.
A retrospective cohort study of care received over 1 year, conducted across 11 primary care clinics within the context of multimorbidity-focused care management program. Patients were aged 45+ years with more than two common chronic conditions and were sampled based on either being new (≤6 months) or veteran to the program (≥1 year).
Three guideline concordance measures were calculated for each patient out of 44 potential guideline-recommended care processes for nine chronic conditions: overall score; referral score (proportion of guideline-recommended care referred) and patient-only score (proportion of referred care completed by patients). Guideline concordance was stratified by care type.
4386 care processes evaluated among 204 patients, mean age = 72.3 years (standard deviation = 9.7). Overall, 79.2% of care was guideline concordant, 87.6% was referred according to guidelines and patients followed 91.4% of referred care. Guideline-concordant care varied across care types. Age, morbidity burden and whether patients were new or veteran to the program were associated with guideline concordance.
Patients with multimorbidity do not receive ~20% of guideline recommendations, mostly due to clinicians not referring care. Determining the types of care for which the greatest deviation from guidelines exists can inform the tailoring of care for multimorbidity patients.
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