Johns Hopkins ACG System® Recognized with HSR Impact Award

Thu, 28 May 2015


Baltimore May 28, 2015 – AcademyHealth awarded its Health Services Research (HSR) Impact Award to groundbreaking work that resulted in the development of an internationally-used case-mix methodology that allows for meaningful patient and population characterization.

Each year, the HSR Impact Award is presented annually to health services research that has made a clear impact on health policy and practice. This year’s winner, The Johns Hopkins ACG Case-Mix System, has gained international acceptance as a standard measurement tool and is applied on a daily basis in hundreds of diverse settings throughout the world for population needs assessment, capitation adjustment, chronic care management, predictive modeling, and provider performance profiling. This model, which examines data to study the relationship between patterns of morbidity and health care use, cost, and outcomes, built upon the work of the late Barbara Starfield and her colleagues Jonathan Weiner, Donald Steinwachs, and Christopher Forrest, expanding the earlier work on children to all age groups.

David Knutson, senior research fellow at the University of Minnesota, is just one of the many who recognize the immense value The Johns Hopkins ACG Case-Mix System has made in improving health care:

“During the implementation of these programs, clinicians have found ACGs to be the perfect way to characterize their patients and panels for care management across all services,” said Mr. Knutson. “That is exactly what Drs. Barbara Starfield and Jonathan Weiner intended when designing the ACG System – clinically meaningful patient and population characterization that would support primary care. As reform emphasizes joint accountability by payers and providers for whole-person focused management of quality and cost of care, the unique breadth of ACGs (compared with more traditional disease focused approaches) becomes apparent. Not only are ACGs one of the best solutions for characterizing the needs of patients for numerous applications, but they also allow for transparent and insight-producing linkages between multiple applications across many settings and contexts.”

“The HSR Impact Award showcases how health services research improves health and health care, and this year’s winner is no exception,” said Dr. Lisa Simpson, President and CEO of AcademyHealth. “The Johns Hopkins ACG Case-Mix System has helped providers and systems manage and improve the care of hundreds of millions of patients in the United States and many countries throughout the world.”

The HSR Impact Award was presented at AcademyHealth’s 2015 National Health Policy Conference, which convenes thought leaders and stakeholders from across the spectrum of health care to examine the most immediate and pressing policy priorities for the year ahead.

A full description of The Johns Hopkins ACG Case-Mix System can be found on the AcademyHealth website at

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