Background: By 2030, 171 million Americans are expected to have more than one chronic condition. The cohort of individuals with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) is growing and two thirds of healthcare costs for the US population are currently spent on the 20% of people who have MCC.
Objectives: Recognizing the need for increased investment in MCC programs and research, Health and Human Services (HHS) developed the HHS Strategic Framework on MCC. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) contributed to the goals of the framework by funding the MCC Research Network, comprising 45 diverse grants and representing one of the largest federal investment in MCC studies to date.
Results: The initial body of research emerging from the AHRQ MCC Research Network included: co-management of commonly co-occurring conditions (including by caregivers); care for patients with low-prevalence combinations of MCC; the effect of MCC patients on provider performance metrics; guidelines for preventive services; medication management in individuals with MCC; as well as MCC-specific methodological and analytical techniques.
Conclusions: The authors describe a subset of research contributions made in each topic area and make 3 recommendations for future MCC research: (1) include person-centered and person-driven measures and outcomes, (2) consider the person in the context of their relationships and community, and (3) include mental healthcare as an essential part of overall healthcare.