of a national system for performance measurement and reporting. In addition to carrying out general management and coordinating functions, the board would provide leadership and policy guidance that would support existing efforts, and seek to align those efforts with national health goals through contractual agreements, educational programs, and consensus-building initiatives.

Recommendation 1: Congress should establish a National Quality Coordination Board (NQCB) with seven key functions:

  • Specify the purpose and aims for American health care.

  • Establish short- and long-term national goals for improving the health care system.

  • Designate, or if necessary develop, standardized performance measures for evaluating the performance of current providers, and monitor the nation’s progress toward these goals.

  • Ensure the creation of data collection, validation, and aggregation processes.

  • Establish public reporting methods responsive to the needs of all stakeholders.

  • Identify and fund a research agenda for the development of new measures to address gaps in performance measurement.

  • Evaluate the impact of performance measurement on pay for performance, quality improvement, public reporting, and other policy levers.

The NQCB should produce useful information for three purposes that address different audiences:

  • Accountability—Information should be available to assist stakeholders in making choices about providers. These stakeholders include patients identifying a clinician, hospital, or other provider from which to seek services; purchasers and health plans selecting providers to include in their health insurance networks; and quality oversight organizations making accreditation and certification decisions.

  • Quality improvement—The information provided should be of value to stakeholders responsible for improving the quality of care, including clinicians, and administrators and governing board members of health care organizations.

  • Population health—The information should be useful for stakeholders making decisions about access to services (e.g., public insurance benefits and coverage); those involved in communitywide programs and efforts to address racial and ethnic disparities and promote healthy behav-



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