More than half of U.S. adults have at least one chronic condition—ranging from high blood pressure to diabetes to heart disease to chronic kidney disease—and more than a quarter have multiple chronic conditions. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic’s deep disruption of American society underscores the risk of infectious diseases and importance of preparedness for public health emergencies.
Along with emphasizing prevention, AIR’s work related to chronic and infectious diseases focuses on increasing access to high-quality care and reducing health disparities. We partner with federal and state agencies, as well as clinicians, private payers, foundations, and patient advocacy groups, to improve care for people living with chronic conditions. For example, AIR supports the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in efforts to improve care for people with chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) through the ERSD Treatment Choices (ETC) Model. Designed to encourage home dialysis and kidney transplants, the ETC Model is among the first CMS models to incorporate health equity into provider performance scoring and payment incentives.
Similarly, AIR works with CMS to understand disparities associated with COVID-19 morbidity and mortality and support hospitals serving vulnerable populations. Our work includes efforts to improve the performance of approximately 300 small and rural hospitals by assessing quality measures, supporting pandemic response and preparedness, and identifying and disseminating best practices through the Hospital Quality Improvement Contractor initiative.