New NPP Report Charts Course for Achieving National Quality Strategy

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The National Priorities Partnership (NPP) submitted a report to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in response to HHS’s request for input on specific goals and measures for each of the six National Quality Strategy (NQS) priorities.

The National Priorities Partnership (NPP) submitted a report to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in response to HHS’s request for input on specific goals and measures for each of the six National Quality Strategy (NQS) priorities. The report also lays out a series of highest-value strategic opportunities that can accelerate achievement of three NQS aims. Taken in totality, the report offers opportunities that will require action at many levels and strong public-private partnerships to encourage adoption of shared goals and engender shared accountabili¬ty for making progress.

Convened by the National Quality Forum (NQF), NPP is a group of 48 organizations. It provides guidance on building consensus on national priorities and goals for performance improvement and works in partnership to achieve those priorities and goals. NPP represents the full range of public- and private-sector stakeholder groups, including consumers, purchasers, health plans, clinicians, providers, communities, states, and suppliers. The HHS Secretary released the NQS in March 2011, strongly inclusive of NPP’s input. Upon its release, NQS authors noted the need for further refinement, specifically around goals, measures, and public- and private-sector paths to implementation and improvement; subsequently, HHS again requested input from NPP to help make the NQS more actionable and measurable.

“The National Quality Strategy was a tremendous first step in creating a national vision for achieving better health and healthcare,” said Janet Corrigan, PhD, MBA, president and CEO of the National Quality Forum. “The new NPP report is public-private collaboration at its best and highlights the opportunities we have now to align our focus and resources toward shared goals.”

NPP defined three categories of strategic opportunities that are critical for making progress. These may serve not only as a catalyst for HHS, but also as a call to all stakeholders to identify opportunities to align and take action, to engage others to advance the priorities and goals, and to accelerate change:

  •     There must be a national strategy for data collection, measurement, and reporting that supports performance measurement and improvement efforts of public and private sector stakeholders at the national and community level.
  •     There must be an organizational infrastructure at the community level that assumes responsibility for improvement efforts, often requiring collaboration among healthcare stakeholders and between healthcare and other sectors; all communities will need resources to benchmark and compare performance, and mechanisms to identify, share, and evaluate progress.
  •     There must be ongoing payment and delivery system reform—emphasizing primary care—that rewards value over volume, promotes patient-centered outcomes, efficiency, and appropriate care, and seeks to improve quality while reducing or eliminating waste from the system.

“The distinctive, multi-stakeholder composition of NPP provides a unique perspective from across the healthcare spectrum on the necessary steps to orient the National Quality Strategy around action and impact,” said NPP co-chair Helen Darling, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. “The time to act is now given our national health and economic imperatives, and there is a role for everyone in taking this plan from concept to clear results that improve health and control costs by reducing duplicative and unnecessary services.”

In addition to the suggested strategic aims, NPP also compiled a set of recommended goals and measures directly related to the original six NQS priorities. The goals are broad in nature and can be put into operation through specific measurement strategies. Many of the corresponding measures are already widely used and reported at the national level through various reporting mechanisms. Recommendations are also made for measures and standards to fill any existing measurement gaps within each priority. To view a full table of the proposed measures and goals, please visit: http://www.qualityforum.org/News_And_Resources/Press_Releases/2011/NPP_Report_2012_-_Proposed_Goals_and_Measures_Pages.aspx.

“We are honored to provide input to HHS as it continues its work to strengthen our healthcare system,” said NPP Co-Chair Bernie Rosof, MD, representative of the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, convened by the American Medical Association. “NPP looks forward to continuing our close collaboration with policy leaders and the broad healthcare community as we work toward achieving our shared goals.”

To view the full report, please visit: http://www.qualityforum.org/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=68238.
About NPP

The National Priorities Partnership, convened by the National Quality Forum, is a multi-stakeholder group including organizations representing the interests of consumers, purchasers, healthcare providers and professionals, state-based associations, community collaborative and regional alliances, government agencies, health plans, accreditation and certification bodies, and supplier and industry groups.
http://www.qualityforum.org/Setting_Priorities/NPP/National_Priorities_Partnership.aspx

About NQF
The National Quality Forum (NQF) operates under a three-part mission to improve the quality of American healthcare by:

  •     building consensus on national priorities and goals for performance improvement and working in partnership to achieve them;
  •     endorsing national consensus standards for measuring and publicly reporting on performance; and
  •     promoting the attainment of national goals through education and outreach programs.

For more information about NQF, visit http://www.qualityforum.org .

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Erin Reese
The National Quality Forum
202-783-1300
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