OAKLAND, California – “HIV disease has become a complex, chronic condition. Measurement of quality of care is an essential component of successful therapy,” said Michael Horberg, MD, MAS, FACP, director of HIV/AIDS for Kaiser Permanente. Horberg was one of two co-chairs who led a study created to improve the quality of HIV care and treatment nationwide. The work group’s study consisted of recommending 17 measures such as screening and prevention for infections and monitoring of antiretroviral therapy they insisted should be adopted uniformly.
Appearing in the current issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, the study shows how national HIV quality performance measures were developed, approved by national bodies, and implemented. Currently being pilot tested, the measures assess a wide range of care, including patient retention, screening and prevention for infections, immunization, and initiation and monitoring of antiretroviral therapy.
Endorsed by organizations such as the National Quality Forum, National Committee For Quality Assurance, American Medical Association, the HIV Medical Association, Infectious Disease Society of America, and Health Resources and Service Administration (Health & Human Services), many of the measures outlined in this study are already in place at Kaiser Permanente.
The largest private provider of HIV care in the United States, Kaiser Permanente has over 17,000 patients. As a result, they have been able to improve their HIV management so that the mortality rate for Kaiser Permanente HIV patients is half the national average.
Even though the measures do not reflect all aspects of HIV care, Holberg stated, “Taken together, these measures represent the most important aspects of HIV care that impact the greatest number of HIV-infected individuals in the Unites States today.”