step-care therapy

step-care therapy

a therapeutic program that begins with a simple, conservative type of treatment but may advance to more complex stages as needed to achieve control of a disease or disorder. An example is step-care therapy of hypertension, in which the first step is limited to nonpharmacological treatments such as weight control, low-salt diet, and exercise. If the first step fails to produce results, the next step may be the prescription of diuretics, followed by the use of beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or other drugs, until an effective form of treatment is found.
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Based on its study findings, HIRC predicts that the next several years will see a sharp upswing in employers' use of tactics such as therapy management protocols, step-care therapy and "therapeutic MAC" among large and mid-size employers.