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National Quality Forum Endorses National Consensus Standards Promoting Accountability and Public Reporting
Date:8/5/2008

ensus standards for cancer care can be used to raise the quality of care by evaluating the performance of clinicians working in hematology, radiation oncology, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and pathology pertaining to cancer care at the clinician level. For example, these measures can help decrease unnecessary bone scans for prostate cancer, avoid radiation dosing for normal tissue, and support patient engagement by communicating treatment/pain management plans.

Lee Newcomer, MD, executive vice president of oncology at United HealthCare in Minnesota, and Suzanne Miller, MD, director of behavioral medicine at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Pennsylvania, co-chaired NQF's steering committee on clinician-level cancer care. "There's an overwhelming amount of misinformation about what constitutes good care," said Miller. "Quality measures, particularly at a clinician level, pave the path for communicating with patients and providing patient-centered care in a comprehensive way."

Measures were developed by the American Medical Association's Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, the American Society of Hematology, the American Urological Association, and the College of American Pathology.

Infectious Diseases

The 23 new NQF-endorsed voluntary consensus standards for infectious disease prevention, treatment, and management fill an urgent need within the current landscape of quality measures. Hepatitis C (HVC)-associated chronic liver disease is the most frequent indication for liver transplantation among adults in the United States. A study of Asian American adults found 10.7 percent of those born in Southeast Asia or the Pacific Islands were chronically infected with Hepatitis B (HVB), and up to two-thirds were unaware they were infected.

With at least 4 million people infected with HVC and an estimated 1.1 million living
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SOURCE National Quality Forum
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