The American College of Physicians (ACP) has launched a new website to help physicians and other healthcare professionals understand the benefits, harms and costs of tests and treatment options for common clinical issues and whether they provide good value.
The new website, hvc.acponline.org, centralizes resources and information developed by ACP to support its ongoing High Value Care initiative. Features include:
- ACP’s evidence-based clinical practice recommendations for specific tests and treatments, such as diagnostic imaging for low back pain and drug treatment of type 2 diabetes published in Annals of Internal Medicine;
- Resources to help implement high-value care in physician practices, including ethical considerations, performance measurement recommendations and peer-reviewed articles about high-value care published in Annals of Internal Medicine;
- Summaries of and links to ACP’s public policy papers advocating for legislative reforms that would enhance the delivery of care while reducing costs;
- The High Value Cost-Conscious Care Curriculum for internal medicine residents created by ACP and the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine;
- Patient education materials, including brochures for common clinical issues created in partnership with Consumer Reports and based on ACP's evidence-based recommendations; and
- Videos about high-value care topics for physicians, medical students and patients.
According to ACP, up to 30 percent, or $765 billion, of healthcare costs were identified as potentially avoidable, with many of these costs attributed to unnecessary services. “By identifying and eliminating wasteful practices that do not improve health, physicians can provide the best possible care to their patients while reducing unnecessary costs to the healthcare system at the same time,” said Steven E. Weinberger, MD, ACP’s CEO.
ACP considers high-value care as the delivery of services providing benefits that make their harms and costs worthwhile. Value is not merely cost. Some expensive tests and treatments have high value because they provide high benefit and low harm. Conversely, some inexpensive tests or treatments have low value because they do not provide enough benefit to justify even their low costs or might potentially be harmful.