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Broad Coalition Offers Plan to Improve Health Care Quality and Affordability
Date:3/24/2009

Recommendations call for better measurement and transparency as foundation for improvement and reform

WASHINGTON, March 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Stand for Quality, a diverse coalition of more than 165 organizations from across the health care spectrum, today announced a framework to improve the quality and affordability of health care for all patients through a public-private partnership described in six key recommendations.

The six recommendations are:

  1. Set national priorities and provide coordination for quality improvement;
  2. Endorse and maintain nationally standardized measures;
  3. Develop measures to fill gaps in priority areas;
  4. Ensure that providers and other stakeholders have a role in developing policies on use of measures;
  5. Collect, analyze, and make performance information available and actionable;
  6. Support a sustainable infrastructure for quality improvement.

Stand for Quality's recommendations are the product of a partnership among patient and consumer groups; employers and public purchasers; representatives of physicians, nurses and other clinicians; health plans; hospitals; and more. The multistakeholder group came together with the shared belief that improvements in access, quality, and affordability are inextricably linked.

"The wide array of organizations endorsing Stand for Quality's recommendations illustrate the essential role quality improvement must play in health care reform," said Gerald Shea, Assistant to the President for Governmental affairs at the AFL-CIO. "Stand for Quality provides structure around a quality enterprise that has grown organically and makes it accountable in a new system."

"Consumers and patients want affordable, high quality care that is safe, efficient, and responsive to their needs," said John Rother, Executive Vice President of Policy and Strategy for AARP. "Health care reform must include ways to better assess quality, as well as how to translate results into useful information that will help practitioners, patients, and policymakers make informed decisions. These recommendations recognize the continuum of measuring and improving quality and affordability."

The six recommendations representing a path to safe, efficient, patient-centered health care are outlined in Stand for Quality's Building a Foundation for High Quality, Affordable Health Care: Linking Performance Measurement to Health Reform. The recommendations build on existing improvement efforts and aim to harness the energies of the public and private sectors to strengthen health care quality - ensuring reform not only expands coverage, but improves the care patients receive.

"These recommendations are anchored in the reality that quality is about what happens between a clinician and a patient," said John Tooker, Chief Executive Officer of the American College of Physicians. "We support this effort because it is critical to giving doctors the tools they want and need to improve care."

To support and catalyze these efforts, Stand for Quality identifies distinct roles for the public and private sectors to work in partnership to measure quality and use those results to drive continuous improvement. Measurement and reporting of health care services are crucial to achieving the essential goals of reform - quality, affordability, and access for all.

Stand for Quality recognizes that standardized measures and public reporting create a strong foundation to share what works and inform care delivery that is patient-centered, safe, and effective. "Our recommendations build on the successes of work already underway to create an integrated national infrastructure that will put into the hands of providers of care, purchasers of care, and consumers of care information to inform their decisions," said Richard Umbdenstock, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Hospital Association.

The full list of the more than 165 supporting organizations of Stand for Quality is available at: www.standforquality.org.


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SOURCE Stand for Quality
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