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MCG Health Releases 23rd Edition of Industry-Leading Care Guidelines

MCG Health, part of the Hearst Health network and a leading provider of informed care strategies, announces the release of its 23rd edition of evidence-based care guidelines. Many new enhancements to its clinical content were developed in response to the healthcare industry’s need for guidance specific to pediatric populations, care coordination, and the national opioid crisis.

For nearly 30 years, MCG has been reviewing the latest clinical research and applying that data to its massive evidence base. With the 23rd edition, MCG physician and nurse editors reviewed a record 335,521 references, incorporating over 7,300 new, unique citations into the MCG care guidelines. The new updates bring the unique citation count to nearly 45,000.

Studies have shown that significant opportunities exist for controlling costs related to pediatric care via inpatient services and emergency department (ED) utilization.[1] MCG recognizes the importance of evidence-based interventions in the appropriate setting and has expanded pediatric content in its Inpatient & Surgical Care volume accordingly. Multiple new guidelines for pediatrics are now available including condition-specific support for substance-related and eating disorders.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national opioid crisis continues to result in thousands of deaths each year and generates an annual economic burden of $78.5 billion.[2] MCG has been ahead of this issue for several years and has added new clinical guidance to its Ambulatory Care and Behavioral Health Care volumes. This additional information on opioid management and pharmacogenetics will help providers and health plans more effectively address this ongoing public health crisis.

In addition to addressing those challenges in the healthcare sector, MCG is expanding its offerings in response to the aging population and the rapid growth of Medicare Advantage plans. One-third of Medicare seniors now receive care through a Medicare Advantage plan and that number is expected to grow.[3] To help healthcare organizations meet the growing health demands of this group, MCG has expanded its Medicare Compliance solution by adding LCDs (Local Coverage Determinations)[4] to the NCDs (National Coverage Determinations) which were made available in last year’s edition. MCG Medicare Compliance now supports care providers and health plans using Medicare’s coverage determinations by translating them into an easy-to-use MCG care guideline format which can be documented within MCG interactive software solutions.

MCG also augmented its post-acute disease management offerings with new assessments for the most common types of cancer, perioperative care coordination, and outpatient behavioral health coordination. On a related note, MCG Chronic Care guidelines were recently cited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as an example of evidence-based guidelines which can be used to support accreditation for population health programs.[5]

To align this new content with its software platforms, MCG updated both its Cite and Indicia solutions to version 11.0 which allow licensed users interactive access to the 23rd edition. MCG has also expanded the data visualization capabilities of its Cite for Guideline Analytics, a solution co-developed with a global leader in analytics and data warehousing, Milliman MedInsight. The new dashboard features of this software allow payer organizations to quickly view areas for potential cost savings and clinical improvement based on their own claims data.

MCG President and CEO, Jon Shreve, commented on the latest edition by saying, “Every year, the sheer volume of research our editors analyze and incorporate into the MCG care guidelines is unparalleled. Compiling this strong evidence base to inform care delivery is key for our clients to improve the patient journey while managing costs. This milestone reflects MCG’s dedication to enhancing clinical judgment with trustworthy guidance, insightful analytics, and accessible software.”

MCG, which is utilized by eight of the largest U.S. health plans and nearly 1,900 hospitals, will be offering its customers special workshops at its annual Client Forum to acclimate users with the 23rd edition. For those who cannot attend the Client Forum event in San Antonio, Tex., MCG will host a special webinar on March 21, 2019, to provide a detailed summary of the new updates.


[1] Amanda Berra. What are the top avoidable cost opportunities in pediatrics? Advisory Board. March 2014. Accessed 01/30/2019:

[2] Opioid Overdose Crisis. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Updated January 2019. Accessed 01/30/2019:

[3] Medicare Advantage premiums continue to decline while plan choices and benefits increase in 2019. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). September 28, 2018. Accessed 02/04/2019:

[4] MCG will be completing all the LCD jurisdictions in 2019. Please contact MCG if you would like to know which U.S. jurisdictions are currently available for licensing.

[5] NCQA does not endorse or require the use of MCG care guidelines to achieve accreditation.

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About MCG
MCG, part of the Hearst Health network, helps healthcare organizations implement informed care strategies that proactively and efficiently move people toward health. MCG’s transparent assessment of the latest research and scholarly articles, along with our own data analysis, gives patients, providers, and payers the vetted information they need to feel confident in every care decision, in every moment. For more information visit or follow our Twitter handle at @MCG_Health.

About Hearst Health
The mission of Hearst Health is to help guide the most important care moments by delivering vital information into the hands of everyone who touches a person’s health journey. Each year in the U.S., care guidance from Hearst Health reaches 85 percent of discharged patients, 205 million insured individuals, 77 million home health visits and 3.2 billion dispensed prescriptions. The Hearst Health network includes FDB (First Databank), Zynx Health, MCG, Homecare Homebase, MHK (formerly MedHOK—Medical House of Knowledge) and Hearst Health Ventures ( Hearst also holds a minority interest in the precision medicine and oncology analytics company M2Gen. Follow Hearst Health on Twitter @HearstHealth or LinkedIn @Hearst-Health.

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