The National Quality Forum's new leader will be Dr. Dana Gelb Safran starting in August, following a six-month search after former CEO Dr. Shantanu Agrawal left to join Anthem.
Safran currently is senior vice president of value-based care and population health at patient communication platform company Well Health, based in Boston. Safran previously founded and ran measurement and benefit design at Haven, the failed joint venture of Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway that aimed to lower healthcare costs and increase access to care.
"Dana Gelb Safran's unparalleled expertise and track record of using next-generation measurement science to improve performance, drive value and promote equity makes her the ideal person to lead NQF as it enters its third decade of driving measurable health improvements," Dr. Jonathan Perlin, NQF board chair and president of clinical operations at HCA Healthcare, said in a news release. "I know she will work tirelessly and effectively with NQF members, staff and stakeholders in advancing our vision that every person experiences high value care and optimal health outcomes."
Safran spent more than a decade at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts where she oversaw the company's Alternative Quality Contract, which became a value-based payment model for payers nationwide. Prior to that, Safran spent more than a decade at what's now the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation, a non-partisan research and policy organization. Safran currently serves on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and has authored numerous scientific articles on quality measurement and health care disparities.
"The role of quality measurement in U.S. healthcare has never been more important," Safran said in the news release. "The country's continued shift toward value-based payment demands a next generation of performance measures in order to deliver on payment reform's promise of better quality, better health, and increased affordability."
In 2020, NQF unveiled its goals for the decade, targeting greater alignment of health data across providers and payers, pushing for price transparency and seeking better ways to target social determinants of health.
"The profound health inequities laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic demand urgent action, and measurement will play a central role in efforts to make progress toward equity," Safran said. "NQF's history of bringing together public and private sector stakeholders is a tremendous platform from which to build and execute on this important and expanded set of priorities."