HHS Releases the National Quality Strategy for Promoting Better Health, Quality Care
HHS last week released the 2013 Annual Progress Report to Congress on the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care. The report provides details on implementation activities by the private and public sectors, efforts to align quality measures, and successes in six priority areas, including patient safety, community health, and affordability. Since the National Quality Strategy was first released in 2011, the private and public sectors have continued to implement activities that improve the delivery of health care services, patient health outcomes, and population health, as directed by the Affordable Care Act. This year’s report highlights:
- Effective performance measurement, including efforts to identify and adopt unified measures that meet the reporting requirements of programs across the federal government, the private sector, states, and even individual health systems and providers. These alignment efforts include the work of the Measures Application Partnership, composed of more than 60 public- and private-sector organizations, and the Buying Value initiative, a group of 19 private health care purchasers and purchasers’ representatives.
- Quality improvement in the six priority areas that include patient safety, community health, and affordability. While 2012 focused mainly on HHS-led initiatives, this year’s report describes public- and private-sector efforts such as the Irving, Texas-based VHA cooperative of nonprofit hospitals that reduced all-payer, all-cause readmissions by 17.6 percent in just 12 months across 192 hospitals.
- Progress against the three strategic opportunities, first identified in the 2012 update, including the development of organizational infrastructure at the community level. The 62 Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers work with more than 31,000 medical practices and 140,000 providers—nearly 45 percent of the nation’s primary care providers—to adopt and meaningfully use electronic health records to improve patient health and care delivery.
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2013 Annual Progress Report to Congress National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care