National Quality Forum (Nat'l Policy Conference

Report by Advocate Pat Haugen:

I recently had the opportunity to represent NBCC (National Breast Cancer Coalition) at the National Quality Forum (NQF) National Policy Conference and thought the conference content and presentations might be of interest.

Established as a public-private partnership, NQF is a not-for-profit membership organization created to develop and implement a national strategy for health care quality measurement and reporting.

NQF has participation from all parts of the health care system, including national, state, regional, and local groups representing consumers, public and private purchasers, employers, health care professionals, provider organizations, health plans, accrediting bodies, labor unions, supporting industries, and organizations involved in health care research or quality improvement.

NBCC is a member of NQF and a member of the Consumer Council. It was encouraging to hear the positive comments regarding NBCC expressed by other members of the Consumer Council.

The NQF website is

The conference theme was "Quality at the Crossroads" and included a broad range of topics focused on the overall NQF objective to promote a common approach to measuring health care quality and fostering system-wide capacity for quality improvement.

A complete conference transcript and videos for the two keynote addresses are available at:

The keynote speakers spoke at recent NBCCF conferences, Susan Dentzer, Editor-in-Chief, Health Affairs and Shannon Brownlee, Schwartz Senior Fellow, New America Foundation. Janet Corrigan, NQF President, introduced each and also provided an update on the current status of healthcare quality in the U.S.

Susan Dentzer's address (Day 1 video) included discussion on health care reform and touched on topics such as new medical models, team approaches, patient centered medical home, and challenging the current scope of practice.

Shannon Brownlee's address (Day 2 video) focused on the overall theme of overtreatment, with specific focus on impact of the financial crisis, need for improvement in delivery systems, and comparative effectiveness.

If you have time, I highly recommend listening to these keynote speakers.

The conference included topics on health care reform, comparative effectiveness, payment policy and delivery system changes, eliminating disparities, and making change happen in communities.

There was significant emphasis on the National Priorities Partnership (NPP) which was convened by NQF. NPP Co-Chairs are Don Berwick, Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Margaret O'Kane, the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

On November 17, the NPP formally announced a set of national priorities and goals that the Partnership identified as central to the transformation of America's healthcare. The NPP priority areas were described as a roadmap for NQF to fill important, cross-cutting measurement gaps.

The NPP priority areas are:

* Engage patients and families in managing health and making decisions about care

* Improve the health of the population

* Improve the safety and reliability of America's health care system

* Ensure patients receive well-coordinated care across all providers, settings, and levels of care

* Guarantee appropriate and compassionate care for patients with life-limiting illnesses

* Eliminate waste while ensuring the delivery of appropriate care

Additional information is available on the NQF website or at

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