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Research Addressing the HHS Strategic Framework on Multiple Chronic Conditions: Understanding Disparities in Persons with Multiple Chronic Conditions: Research Approaches and Datasets

Lisa LeRoy, Melanie Wasserman, Michael Rezaee, Alan White


March 27, 2015

Understanding how to better care for individuals with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) is a priority for the Department of Health and Human Services. Persons with MCC represent almost one-third of the U.S. population and account for two-thirds of health care spending, yet most research on chronic conditions focuses on single diseases. In response to this growing challenge, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) led the development of the Strategic Framework on Multiple Chronic Conditions(HHS 2010).

This white paper contributes to meeting the goals outlined by the HHS strategic framework by examining promising data, methods, and topics for future disparities research within the MCC population.It builds on a previous white paper titled “Understanding the High Prevalence of Low-Prevalence Chronic Disease Combinations: Databases and Methods for Research.”

The present paper summarizes the current literature on MCC disparities, describes how the methodological challenges of disparities research are further manifested in MCC research, reviews promising methods, and assesses the usability of various data systems and datasets for MCC disparities research.

North America