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No less than measuring and evaluating outcomes in disease management programs is the goal of a program launched by the Disease Management Association of America. "This certainly stands among the disease management community's most significant research efforts to date," says Don Fetterolf, MD, chairman of the DMAA Quality and Research Committee. "Reaching consensus on a relevant and scientifically valid standard for evaluating clinical and financial outcomes is vital to the continued strong growth of disease and care management." The DMAA hopes to unveil the new methodology in December. . . . The political wind seems to have shifted in Germany. There's further evidence that the election of Angela Merkel as German Chancellor might mean a turn toward the free market. German Health Minister Ursula Schmidt "startled" — that's the word used in one report — an American audience by saying she admires the managed care system in the United States and hopes to implant some of those ideas in her native land. . . . President Bush wants most Americans to have electronic medical records by 2014. However, a study in the Journal of American Medical Informatics projects that physician foot-dragging will slow adaptation considerably. Most Americans won't get EMRs until 2024, according to the study.

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