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National quality agenda, payment reform, care integration keys to improving quality, patient safety

New York City, July 30, 2007As health care quality and patient safety concerns rise, the latest Commonwealth Fund Health Care Opinion Leaders survey finds leaders united behind several key reform measures: more than half (56%) support the creation of a new public-private entity to coordinate quality efforts and form a national quality agenda; 95% believe that fundamental payment reform is needed; and three-fourths (73%) say that greater organization and integration of provider care is necessary for improved quality and efficiency.

Within these broad categories, the survey found consensus for specific strategiesmany that include government leadership:

  • 90% of respondents said use of health information technology should be mandated for Medicare providers within 5 or 10 years;

  • half (51%) support financial incentives for physicians and hospitals to provide high quality care;

  • 59% of respondents support public reporting of providers performance on quality measures;

  • only 7% felt that the current Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act was sufficient to guarantee patient safety; three-fourths felt information about a physicians or hospitals patient safety record should not be confidential; and

  • 73% support Medicare reform that would pay medical homes defined as a health care setting that provides patients with timely, well-organized care, and enhanced access to providersfor care coordination.

In a new data brief on the survey findings, Health Care Opinion Leaders Views on the Quality and Safety of Health Care in the United States, Katherine Shea, Tony Shih, and Karen Davis of The Commonwealth Fund find that opinion leaders agree the United States health care system isnt designed to provide high quality health care and changes must be made at the highest levels. A report released by The Commonwealth Fund last week, Congressional Health Care Bills
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
30-Jul-2007


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