One of the biggest concerns in health care systems in the US and across the world is the growing number of patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, or heart disease. In addition, there are a rising number of people with more than one chronic condition at the same time, known as comorbidities. Comorbidities present a difficult puzzle for providers, who must strive to prevent each individual disease’s progression while also understanding how a patient’s comorbidities interact with each other. Fortunately, the ACG System has two powerful analytics tools to help with exactly that.
Expanded Diagnostic Clusters (EDCs)
This tool helps providers identify people with specific conditions by distilling the various medical diagnosis codes into more general disease categories. Essentially, EDCs take an overwhelming amount of information and refine it into useful categories of people with the same conditions.
Resource Utilization Bands (RUBs)
This instrument categorizes comorbidity into six groupings based on the level of healthcare resources a patient needs. The six levels of healthcare range from a non-utilizer (RUB 0) to a high complexity of illness (RUB 5). RUBs are invaluable in helping providers understand how comorbidities are interacting to produce higher healthcare needs.
These two analytics tools are are incredibly effective when combined within the ACG System because they can help providers prioritize and customize medical care. For instance, an ACG System user could first use EDCs to locate the group of patients with type 2 diabetes. That patient group could then be stratified by RUB to tease out the different levels of healthcare needs within that population. With this information in hand, the user can tailor specific care strategies to each RUB group rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach for all patients with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, patients with a greater number of comorbidities can be prioritized for a higher level of care.
Ultimately, the EDC and RUB features within the ACG System reveal the unique interactions between comorbidities, giving providers key insights that go beyond a patient’s medical chart. With these tools, providers can strategically provide patients an appropriate level of clinical care based on their specific needs.