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April 20, 2005

Johns Hopkins ACG Risk Adjustment System to be Used in Spain, Portugal

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have signed a four-year agreement with Iasist of Barcelona, Spain, which will give Iasist distribution rights to the JHU Adjusted Clinical Groups® Case-Mix System (ACG System) in Spain and Portugal. Iasist is currently assisting the Basque National Health Service (Osakidetza) in using the ACG System to allocate resources among primary care clinics.

Developed by the Bloomberg School Public Health, the ACG System is a computer-based algorithm that assesses the health of people enrolled in a given health plan or health system. The plans, in turn, use the ACG System to help predict the need for their future health care services. Adjusted Clinical Groups (ACGs) are a series of mutually exclusive, health-status categories that are defined by morbidity, age and gender. They are based on the premise that the level of resources necessary for delivering appropriate health care to a population is correlated to the illness burden of that population. The ACG System is used to assess provider performance, identify future high-cost cases and develop innovative plan payment and financial risk-sharing arrangements by more than 175 health care organizations worldwide.

 Iasist provides information for health planning, management and budgeting through consulting, database services and software, benchmarking and training services for hospital administrators, governmental departments, insurance companies and primary health clinics. Iasist is well known for its annual ranking of the top 20 hospitals in Spain. The ranking acknowledges the best-performing organizations based solely upon empirical findings from available performance data. Hospitals use this information to identify areas where efficiency and quality can be improved. With the use of the ACG System, Iasist will be able to apply its experience in the ambulatory health clinic setting.

“We are enthusiastic about our new partnership with Iasist to make the ACG System available throughout Spain. The ACG System has a proven record through its use in academic research projects in Spain and we hope to soon see its continued success as regions adopt them for risk adjustment applications,” said David Bodycombe, ScD, ACG System team leader at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Having used the ACG System for research for over a decade, Mercè Casas, MD, the CEO of Iasist said, “It is time to start implementation and use of the ACG System as a case-mix measure in primary health clinics in Spain.”

Information about the ACG System is available at www.acg.jhsph.edu and at www.csc.com. For information about Iasist, please visit www.iasist.com.

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.