The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute granted $7.5 million over the next five years to not-for-profit managed-care providers to set up a national network to study cardiovascular disease.
The collaborative, to be called the Cardiovascular Research Network, will pool electronic health records, research, expertise and other data sources from 14 health plans nationwide to look at hypertension treatment, quality of care in blood-thinner medications and other interventions, and the use and outcomes of implantable cardiac defibrillators. The plans represent about seven million members and several hundred physician-researchers.
Large, national groups with rich databases, such as the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, are joining the effort. "This is the first research network that will be able to follow patients longitudinallytheir care, medications, hospitalizations and vital statuswhich can directly lead to improvements in care delivery and patient outcomes," said John Rumsfeld, chief science officer for the American College of Cardiology National Cardivascular Data Registries, in a written statement.
Participating health plans include Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif.; Group Health Cooperative in Seattle; Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa.; Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Boston; HealthPartners in Bloomington, Minn.; and Lovelace Clinic Foundation in Albuquerque.