Health Reform: Quality Workgroup

The Health Reform Quality Workgroup examined new federal guidelines for patient outcome quality measures and reporting requirements, identifying strategies to meet the new guidelines while building on existing state quality initiatives.

Report | Executive Summary | Presentation: Impact of Affordable Care Act on North Carolina
Alan Hirsch, JD
Executive Director
North Carolina Healthcare Quality Alliance
Sam Cykert, MD
Associate Director for Medical Education and Quality Improvement
North Carolina AHEC Program
Project Director  Sharon Schiro
Project Director
North Carolina Institute of Medicine
Workgroup Overview

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes new provisions improve the quality of health care. For example, the ACA includes new federal bodies to promote research and coordinate care; requires providers and payers to report data to measure quality of care; and will make data on health care quality more available to consumers. The ACA includes provisions aimed at improving quality of care provided by hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, home health, physicians, and other health care providers. The ACA also includes a new emphasis on “value-based” purchasing. For example, the ACA will reduce payments to hospitals that have very high readmission rates. The ACA also includes new funding for comparative effectiveness research.

North Carolina has already undertaken many efforts aimed at improving health care quality. The Quality Workgroup will examine how we can build on existing efforts to further improve quality of care.

As part of this effort, the Quality Workgroup will work to:

  • Understand federal guidelines for patient outcome quality measures and reporting requirements

  • Identify strategies to improve quality of care provided to meet the new quality requirements

  • Build on existing state quality initiatives

Information about the Affordable Care Act

General information about health reform including presentations, a summary of funding opportunities, and helpful links is available here.

Workgroup Background

The overall goal of this effort is to identify the decisions the state must make in implementing health reform. The Advisory Group and workgroups also plan on identifying potential funding opportunities to ensure that we are aware of, and take advantage of, any potential funding opportunity that will help us improve population health, access to care, and health care quality. We want to build on North Carolina's existing strengths and ensure that the decisions made in implementing the federal legislation serve the best interests of the state as a whole.

The effort will be led by Lanier Cansler, Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services, and Wayne Goodwin, Commissioner of the NC Department of Insurance. The new federal health reform legislation will have significant impact on the way that health care is delivered in North Carolina.

To help the state prepare for these changes, eight different workgroups are being established:PreventionSafety NetHealth Professional Workforce, Health Insurance Exchange and Insurance OversightMedicaidNew Models of CareQualityFraud and Abuse.

This planning effort will be led by an Overall Advisory Group that will help coordinate the work of each of these workgroups. Each workgroup will meet approximately one time per month from August 2010-August 2011 to review specific sections of the legislation and examine any new funding opportunities that are made available as part of this legislation.