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NMQF, ACP, and QHC Advisory Group partner to increase adult immunization rates among underserved populations

Washington, D.C., September 6, 2016 -- The National Minority Quality Forum (The Forum), American College of Physicians (ACP), and QHC Advisory Group (QHC) are partnering to create a network of physicians who provide care to minority and underserved populations.

The immediate purpose of the collaboration is to support health equity by reducing adult immunization disparities. The collaboration also seeks to support minority-serving practices in meeting the requirements of value-based payment reforms.

Adult immunization disparities offer an immediate opportunity to improve an essential health care process. Approximately 11.6 percent and 14.6 percent of African-Americans and Hispanics respectively receive herpes zoster vaccination compared with 32 percent of non-Hispanic Whites. Less than half of African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders receive the pneumococcal vaccine compared with 65 percent of non-Hispanic Whites.

“Seventy percent of our nation’s African-American and Hispanic or Latino populations reside in 6,000 of the 38,000 residential zip codes in the United States said Gary A. Puckrein, PhD, president and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum. “This collaborative program will build on the Forum’s powerful data analytic capabilities which can pinpoint zip codes where African-Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics are the majority of the population.”

ACP is working with The Forum to identify its members who serve patients in these zip codes, distinguishing those who are leading the effort to provide this crucial preventive service. The goal is to understand their strategies for successful vaccination and to share that information and direct support with all ACP members working with racially and ethnically diverse populations.

"Given that African Americans, Latinos, and other minorities experience a large and growing disparity in adult immunization rates, this program will help physicians and their health care teams bridge the gap in preventing disease and death among our most vulnerable citizens,” said Wayne J. Riley, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP, ACP’s Immediate Past President and Clinical Professor of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Health Policy, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, who will serve as chair of the project's national advisory council. “Furthermore, these physicians and health care teams often have the least resources to be successful in the value-based payment environment."

QHC brings to the program health quality expertise and a commitment to patient education and engagement, with a significant focus on health literacy.

"It will be critical to provide health care teams with culturally relevant, health literate information and resources so they can effectively convey the importance of vaccination," said Bernard Rosof, MD, MACP, QHC’s CEO.

The initiative is being launched in September 2016 and is an extension of ACP’s I Raise the Rates program, which works with primary care practices in several states supporting education and quality improvement activities to increase practice-based immunizations.

Major support for this project is provided through an educational grant from Merck. Additional support comes from Pfizer, Inc., and Sanofi Pasteur.

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For interview requests, please contact a member of ACP’s public relations staff.

About the National Minority Quality Forum
The National Minority Quality Forum (The Forum) is a Washington, DC-based not-for-profit, non‑partisan, independent research and education organization dedicated to improving the quality of health care that is available for and provided to all populations. The Forum develops user-friendly, web-based disease indices that provide a unique two-dimensional view of the prevalence and impact of diseases by zip code, including diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and HIV/AIDS. Visit our website at www.nmqf.org. Look for us on Facebook (National Minority Quality Forum), and follow us on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/NMQF).

About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 148,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

About QHC Advisory Group
QHC Advisory Group (http://qhcag.com/) is dedicated to delivering cost-effective and sustainable solutions that improve care and help our clients meet their goals. Our organization is distinguished by the national experience of its senior leadership team, the scope and quality of its consultative work, by its personal and long-term relationships, and by its accomplished track record and connectivity with clients.