We’re enthusiastic about new legislation—the Patient Choice and Quality Care Act of 2017—introduced by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Representative Phil Roe (R-TN) and Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). NCQA joins AARP, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the American Heart Association and others in endorsing this bipartisan and bicameral legislation.
The legislation seeks to improve the quality of care delivered to people living with serious illness. And it emphasizes two things we at NCQA care deeply about: patients and quality.
One size does not fit all, especially in health care! Health care is personal. Someone with a serious illness may be less concerned about making their HbA1c target level than being able to attend their granddaughter’s college graduation ceremony. Making patient goals only about numbers ignores the whole person.
Health care delivery must become person directed and person centered. To support care, quality measures must consider a person’s goals and values. That’s an idea the proposed legislation supports.
In some of NCQA’s current projects, we address the challenges of measuring the quality of person-centered care, including:
- Developing standards and measures to support quality care for people with serious illness and their families.
- Developing measures prioritized by people who have functional limitations.
- Identifying HEDIS measures that may be inconsistent with person-centered care for people with a serious illness.
As NCQA continues on the trek toward person-directed and person-centered measure development, we are pleased with the direction of the legislation. Like the Senate and House cosponsors, we envision a measurement system that adapts to what’s most important to people living with serious illness―and to their families.
We look forward to working with Senators Isakson and Warner and Representatives Roe and Blumenauer on this issue.
That’s Not All…
In addition to the “measurement” piece, the legislation brings the patient-centered approach to the forefront of advanced illness and end-of-life care:
- Testing team-based, person-centered care planning to fit the person’s goals, values and preferences.
- Funding public education about advanced care planning.
- Letting qualified clinical social workers provide advanced care planning and ensuring that costs do not keep patients from using such services.
- Permitting providers to follow advance directives and portable treatment orders across state lines.
As we continue to develop measures and programs that impact people with serious illnesses, we are encouraged by the thoughtful leadership on this important issue, and we want to be part of the bipartisan team leading the charge.
You can read our full endorsement letter here.
Amy Maciejowski is a Program Manager for State Affairs at NCQA. She supports NCQA’s work with state legislators and regulators. Amy holds a master’s degree in Political Communications from American University.