Stakeholders from across the industry have been working together over the last 10 months on a national strategy to improve quality of care over the next decade.
If that sounds familiar, it may be because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010 mandated that such a strategy be created; but after it was produced, it withered rather quickly.
“It’s now a decade later, and it’s incumbent on all of us to get together and set a new strategy looking forward. We took that upon ourselves,” National Quality Forum CEO Dr. Shantanu Agrawal said.
The NQF, which endorses quality measures with funding from Medicare, plans to release its own strategy later this spring with broad goals for the industry. Nearly 100 stakeholders are involved in the NQF’s effort including leaders at federal agencies who acted as advisers.
Agrawal declined to offer details on the strategy ahead of its publication, but he said the industry is still not where it should be on quality 10 years since the National Quality Strategy was created. He mentioned healthcare disparities, interoperability, risk adjustment and payment as problems that continue to afflict the industry.
“I don’t want to suggest there hasn’t been an evolution over the years but there are some basic, fundamental structural issues that need to be addressed and resolved if we are going to move the enterprise forward as much as we want to,” he said.
And while Agrawal is hoping the NQF’s new strategy will have an impact, he admits the federal government has more leverage leading the effort since it’s the largest payer. “I don’t think there is anything replacing the public sector taking a broad and proactive stance on quality improvement and what its goals should be,” he said.