Pittsburgh — Recent advances in the SMART Registry will enable Highmark, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Assoc., to provide physicians with reports that show how regularly their chronically ill patients fill their prescriptions.

"Improving patient adherence to medications is one of the most critical areas in improving the quality of health of our members," says Highmark's Dr. Michael Madden, medical director of medical performance management. "We're confident these new reports offered this fall as part of our SMART Registry program will help initiate a conversation between patients and their physicians about the importance of taking medications and overcoming barriers that may prevent them from doing so."

Through the SMART Registry, Pittsburgh-based Highmark has been sharing claims data with family practice, internal medicine and general practice primary care physicians since 2003 in an effort to identify potential treatment gaps for their Highmark patients with such chronic conditions as diabetes, congestive heart failure or coronary artery disease. For instance, the report can quickly reveal which Highmark patients with diabetes need a blood test or an eye exam.

More than 2,700 primary care physicians are currently using the SMART Registry to monitor the health of more than 255,000 Highmark members. Results for SMART Registry will be measured by tracking changes in clinical indicators and reviewing feedback from physicians and their provider surveys.

Physicians receive SMART Registry reports twice per year either via paper or on CD format. They include space to indicate where a particular treatment has been provided. In addition, it highlights trends among Highmark's network physicians for treating patients with specific conditions and identifies opportunities to improve a physician's overall approach to care. There also is a physician comparison report, which shows a particular physician practice how it compares to its peers for ensuring patients receive certain tests and treatments. Now there will be a report indicating whether patients are regularly taking their prescription medications.

Source: Highmark

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