July 9, 2019
HHS Announces Quality Summit to Streamline and Improve Quality Programs across Government
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan announced the formation of the Quality Summit (QS), which will bring together key industry stakeholders and government leaders to discuss how current quality programs administered by HHS can be further evaluated, adapted, and ultimately streamlined to deliver a value-based care model focused on improving outcomes for American patients. On June 24, President Trump signed the Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First Executive Order, directing federal agencies to develop a Health Quality Roadmap that aims to align and improve reporting on data and quality measures across federal health programs.
HHS quality programs, which include programs within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Indian Health Service (IHS), are designed to improve outcomes for program beneficiaries, reduce provider burden, and improve transparency through expanded public reporting of performance results.
Initially implemented beginning in 2000, many of these programs have evolved to include additional measures. Yet, the quality programs across agencies and as a whole have not been subject to a systemic objective external review since their inception. As part of its mission to enhance and promote the health and well-being of the American people, HHS is undertaking a review to ensure quality and value transparency for all patients served by these programs.
The Summit will be chaired by Deputy Secretary Hargan and Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally renowned expert on healthcare quality and patient safety.
“A long-stated goal of the Trump Administration has been to shift our current government healthcare programs from paying for services and procedures to paying for better patient outcomes. We believe the best way to effect this shift is through greater transparency and a focus on quality outcomes for patients,” said HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan. “Over the last decade we have seen efforts by HHS to incentivize the provision of quality care, only to be met with limited success. This is in part because patients have not been empowered with meaningful or actionable information to inform their decision making. At the same time, important quality programs across the department have remained uncoordinated among the various agencies and inconsistent in their demands on healthcare providers. We believe the Quality Summit will not only strengthen the protections these programs afford patients, but also improve value by reducing costs and onerous requirements that are placed on providers and ultimately stand between patients and the high quality care they deserve.”
“I am honored to co-chair this Summit, which will bring together some of the brightest minds in healthcare to strategize ideas about the modernization of quality metrics that our healthcare industry rely upon,” said Dr. Pronovost. “Twenty years ago, the industry embarked on a paradigm shift to bring medical error and patient safety to the forefront, which resulted in a cultural transformation that medical harm was no longer inevitable, but preventable. Today, it’s time, that we revisit this discussion about how to provide the high-value care patients deserve, providers desire, and the public demands.”
The goal of the Summit is to create a discussion forum about how HHS can formulate a Health Quality Roadmap that will align and improve reporting on data and quality measures, in keeping with President Trump’s executive order on price and quality transparency in healthcare. The Summit participants, to be comprised of government stakeholders and approximately 15 non-government healthcare industry leaders, will offer critical insight into discussions surrounding the modernization of HHS’s quality programs that will build upon a patient-centered approach that increases competition, quality, and access to care. The Summit participants will also discuss the task of identifying burdensome regulations and the mechanisms needed to improve providers’ abilities to deliver high-quality care to their patients.
HHS will accept nominations for participants beginning on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 and ending on Wednesday July 31, 2019. Nominations should consist of a one-page cover letter summarizing an applicant’s qualifications along with an applicant’s resume or CV. Nominations must be submitted via e-mail to DeputySecretary@hhs.gov with the subject line: “Quality Summit Application.”