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Policy Perspectives
April 22/29, 1998

A National Action Plan to Meet Health Care Quality Information Needs in the Age of Managed Care

Author Affiliations

From the Quality Measurement Advisory Service (Messrs Shaller and Sharpe) and the Foundation for Health Care Quality (Mr Rubin), Seattle, Wash.

JAMA. 1998;279(16):1254-1258. doi:10.1001/jama.279.16.1254

Concerted national action is needed to meet the growing demand for health care quality information among all health care stakeholders. We propose a coordinated national network of independent, public-private quality measurement alliances established through strong purchaser and consumer leadership at the state, regional, or local levels. These independent alliances could assume a variety of organizational forms, but all would undertake specific quality measurement and consumer information projects to meet local health care market needs by drawing on various combinations of the emerging national standardized quality measures. Local implementation of quality measures based on national standards will facilitate cross-market benchmarking and multistate comparisons useful not only to state and local market constituencies, but to national employers, health plans, provider organizations, and the federal government as well. Successful models of such alliances already exist that demonstrate the feasibility of this national strategy, but concerted national leadership and federal matching funding will be needed to meet the scope of implementation required in markets across the country.