Inside Health Care #84: Donna Cryer & the Wake-up Call for Liver Disease Treatment

July 20, 2022 · David J. Smolar

On this episode, we discuss an all-too-often underdiagnosed disease: NASH, a.k.a. nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a severe form of “fatty liver” disease. Though NASH can affect people who are obese or diabetic with high cholesterol, it can also hit someone who’s relatively healthy and who doesn’t even drink alcohol. It’s because of this and other factors that liver disease can be easily underdiagnosed, leading to dire consequences.

A few months ago, there was a great roundtable discussion about approaches to care and treatment – and hopeful early diagnosis – for people with NASH. In April 2022, NCQA together with a team from Novo Nordisk published a white paper summarizing this roundtable. The paper was titled “A Rallying Cry: Improving Coordinated Care for People With Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis.”

In our interview, we hear from Donna Cryer, President & CEO of the Global Liver Institute, and Dr. Mary Barton, NCQA Vice President for Performance Measurement, exploring new ideas for optimal primary care for liver patients.

Donna CryerDonna Cryer, JD, is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Global Liver Institute (GLI), the premier patient-driven liver health nonprofit operating with offices and partnerships across five continents. Moved by her own experience as a 27-year liver transplant recipient, Mrs. Cryer serves as a fierce advocate for the transformative potential of patient engagement in health policy, research, data, and system design.

Mrs. Cryer serves on numerous committees and boards, including the Boards of Directors for the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), Sibley Memorial Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the Color of Crohns and Chronic Illness (COCCI). She holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Dr. Mary BartonDr. Mary Barton, MD, serves as NCQA’s Vice President for Performance Measurement. In her role, Dr. Barton oversees the development, use and maintenance of techniques NCQA uses to evaluate health care quality. She ensures the scientific integrity of NCQA measurement and research. She also leads NCQA in winning and executing health care quality measurement contracts for federal and state governments.


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