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The federal government should support the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ participation with the private sector in multipayer coalitions and cooperatives to agree upon and together specify, enforce, and support care improvements. Strong administration leadership toward specific national improvement goals would be helpful in reducing the current chaotic situation, in which literally hundreds of priorities are created by a wide array of stakeholders.
One key barrier to setting goals at the national level is the number of entities that want to control priorities. Funding the National Quality Forum makes sense in pursuit of a more rational and better-harmonized set of goals and metrics. The federal government should provide stable funding for a 10-year horizon to the National Quality Forum to certify, develop, and help deploy system-level measures of health care quality, outcomes, and costs, including per capita costs, in full cooperation with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Initial priorities for improving U.S. health care can be guided, at least in part, by NQF’s recent “National Priorities Partnership,” which specifies goals with the endorsement of 28 NQF stakeholder groups.
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