On March 21, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its long-awaited National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care. The National Quality Strategy is a key component of the Affordable Care Act, the health reform law, and gives direction to the government and healthcare providers in providing national aims and priorities to improve healthcare for all Americans. During its development, the National Hemophilia Foundation submitted comments to HHS, presenting the perspective of patients with costly chronic conditions.
NHF noted "that many patients, particularly those with chronic conditions, should be seen by a specialist to receive an accurate diagnosis and to initiate the most appropriate course of therapy." NHF recommended that the National Quality Strategy prioritize care that is best suited for the individual, regardless of provider or setting. It stressed that hemophilia treatment centers are an excellent model of coordinated care that should be recognized. Additionally, NHF recommended that the strategy prioritize reducing economic barriers to care, such as price differentials for seeing specialists or receiving brand name pharmaceuticals.
With input from stakeholders, the initial strategy lays out these six priorities for increasing quality, improving outcomes and lowering costs:
- Making care safer by reducing harm caused during its delivery.
- Ensuring that each person and family is engaged as partners in their care.
- Promoting effective communication and coordination of care.
- Promoting effective prevention and treatment practices.
- Working with communities to promote wide use of best practices to enable healthy living.
- Making quality care more affordable by developing new delivery models.
These priorities will help the healthcare system achieve its goal of all patients receiving the right care, at the right time, in the right setting. HHS will also develop tools to measure success and progress toward the goals, which will be reported to Congress yearly.
Read the National Quality Strategy report.
Read NHF's Comment Letter.