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Quality Digest

Health Care

Quality Critical to Health Care Reform

Published: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 - 22:00

(NCQA: Washington, D.C.) -- The Quality Crossroads Group, a group of stakeholders drawn together to identify strategies to address the complex challenges confronting the United States health care system, recently proposed a five-point agenda that examines quality in patient safety, the uninsured, and the high cost of health care.

The article, "Crossroads in Quality,” published in Health Affairs, states that expanding health insurance coverage is a critical step in health reform, but reforms won’t be successful if they fail to also address the quality and cost of care.

“The future of health care reform rests on the ability for diverse groups, at national, state, and community levels, to work to achieve consensus. We cannot achieve the important policy goals outlined in this paper without collaboration,” says co-author Janet Corrigan, president and CEO of the National Quality Forum.

 “Quality improvement is intricately connected with containing costs and expanding coverage. Yet too often, quality is left out of the equation,” adds co-author Margaret E. O’Kane, president of the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

The reform plan calls for:

  • A national center to support effectiveness research

  • Models of accountable health care entities capable of providing integrated and coordinated care.

  • Payment models that reward high-value care.

  • A national strategy for performance measurement, including standardized measures of patient and population health.

  • A multistakeholder approach to improving population health.

“Poor quality care is a major contributor to runaway health care costs. Improving quality is a key part of making coverage affordable,” says O’Kane.

For further information, visit www.ncqa.org/tabid/733/Default.aspx.


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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.