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NCQA and Lilly Launch Online Quality Improvement Guide to Help Reduce Health Care Disparities and Improve Patient Care
Date:9/24/2009

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lilly USA (NYSE: LLY) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) have collaborated to release a free online guide and resource library for health care organizations that wish to undertake quality improvement initiatives to improve culturally and linguistically appropriate services and reduce disparities in care.

The Web site, Multicultural Health Care: A Quality Improvement Guide (www.CLAShealth.org), is a robust and easy-to-navigate resource, previously only available in print form, for health care organizations such as managed care plans, large group practices, hospitals, public health agencies, disease management organizations, community health centers, and other institutions that provide and/or arrange for care of diverse patients.

"Despite substantial improvement in quality in some areas of health care, many people in linguistic, racial and ethnic minority groups continue to have poorer health and lower quality health care than white Americans," said NCQA Executive Vice President L. Gregory Pawlson, M.D., MPH. "NCQA has worked for two decades to improve the quality of care for all people, and this resource can encourage and support health care organizations in improving their multicultural capabilities."

Demographic trends indicate that the number of Americans who are vulnerable to experiencing the effects of heath care disparities will rise over the next half century. Current data show that some racial and ethnic minority populations are growing at a much more rapid pace than the majority white population.(1) Nearly one in two Americans will be a member of a racial or ethnic minority group by the year 2050.(2)

"Improving patient care for all people is a top priority for Lilly. The guide will be a starting point for understanding and addressing the differences in prevalence and adverse health conditions that exist among various populations," said Alex M. Azar II, vice president, Lilly USA. "Reducing disparities in health care is important, and this online tool will offer guidance in developing competent programs to help alleviate these differences."

Robert C. Like, M.D., M.S., professor and director, Center for Healthy Families and Cultural Diversity, added, "The guide on www.CLAShealth.org is an extremely valuable contribution to the quality improvement field. Health care organizations now have access to an online toolkit that can help them improve the quality of services provided to increasingly diverse populations. The tools will be useful to administrators, clinicians, educators and advocates, and can also be used to meet legislative, regulatory and accreditation requirements for cultural and linguistic competency."

Multicultural Health Care: A Quality Improvement Guide is organized into four chapters that follow the steps of a basic quality improvement process: Assessment, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation. Each chapter contains explanatory text, information on how to follow the process and resources and examples from a variety of settings. A tour of the site is available at www.CLAShealth.org/take-a-tour.html.

About the National Committee for Quality Assurance

NCQA (www.ncqa.org) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA's Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS(R)) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations and recognizes physicians in key clinical areas. More than 7 in 10 Americans enrolled in health plans are in an NCQA-Accredited plan. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information through the Web, media and data licensing agreements in order to help consumers, employers and others make more informed health care choices.

About Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers - through medicines and information - for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at www.lilly.com.

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(1) National Healthcare Disparities Report, 2003. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://www.ahrq.gov/QUAL/nhdr03/nhdrsum03.htm. Accessed on: August 4, 2009.

(2) U.S. Bureau of the Census. 2000. Available at: http://www.census.gov/population/www/projections/usinterimproj/natprojtab01a.pdf. Accessed on: August 18, 2009.

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