Across America and for all Americans, HHS is working to improve patient outcomes, ensure patient safety, promote efficiency and accountability, encourage shared responsibility, and reduce health care costs. Through improved administrative processes, reforms, innovations, and additional information to support consumer decision-making, HHS is supporting high-value, safe, and effective care across health care settings and in the community.
- Improve Health Care Quality and Patient Safety
HHS is working to improve health care quality by making it more patient-centered, reliable, and safe. Through the National Quality Strategy, HHS is providing a roadmap to guide local, state and national efforts to improve quality of care and safety nationwide. In order to help patients make more informed decisions about their health care, HHS is supporting patient-centered research initiatives. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is implementing value-based purchasing programs, which will reward hospitals and other health providers for delivering high-quality care, rather than just a high volume of services. CMS is working to contract with Accountable Care Organizations, which will link provider payments with improved quality and efficiency. In addition, HHS launched a new national program, called the Partnership for Patients, which is a public-private partnership that will help improve the quality, safety, and affordability of health care for all Americans. The Partnership for Patients brings together leaders of major hospitals, employers, physicians, nurses, and patient advocates along with state and federal governments in a shared effort to make hospital care safer, more reliable, and less costly.
- Promote High-Value Care
Through the new Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, HHS is designing, testing, and evaluating new models of payment and delivery, and will promote the most promising strategies. One example is supporting interventions to reduce healthcare-acquired conditions. Another is using a single payment to providers when they collaborate to manage multiple procedures for a patient instead of numerous billing codes. Reforms like care coordination can help patients manage multiple treatment needs through a single point of contact, such as a patient-centered medical home, increasing efficiency and improving patient satisfaction while reducing costs. Through the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office, HHS is simplifying administrative processes for individuals enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid, which will help improve the quality and efficiency of care.
- Use Health Information Technology
HHS is encouraging health care providers to become meaningful users of health information technology (IT) by accelerating health IT adoption and promoting electronic health records to help improve the quality of health care, reduce costs, and ultimately, improve health outcomes. HHS is undertaking multiple initiatives to ensure that privacy standards and policies related to the storage and transmittal of electronic health information are strong, credible, and broadly implemented.
- Promote Community Living
HHS is improving the accessibility and quality of services to enable people with disabilities and seniors with impaired functioning to live in community settings. HHS is working to improve the training and competency of direct care workers and is encouraging the development of career pathways for existing workers to become care-giving professionals. HHS is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to expand community living options by reducing barriers to affordable and accessible housing and by better coordinating housing with health and human services. In addition, HHS has assembled information on available resources and benefits for caregivers in their efforts to support their loved ones living in the community.