Commission Presents Ambitious Health Reform Agenda for Next President

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Ensuring that everyone in the United States has health insurance is essential, but doing so is alone not enough to drive the kind of reform the health system needs, concludes a new report released today by The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System.

The report, A High Performance Health System for the United States: An Ambitious Agenda for the Next President, discusses concrete goals — and the strategies for achieving them — that should be on the next U.S. president's health care agenda, including:

  • guaranteeing affordable health insurance for all;
  • containing growth in health care costs, including changing the way doctors and other health care providers are paid;
  • improving the organization and coordination of care delivery;
  • implementing an electronic information system within five years and investing in public reporting, evidence-based medicine, and the infrastructure necessary to support the health care system; and
  • establishing national goals and exerting the strong leadership needed to reach them.

"This report outlines how essential it is that we pursue improvements in health care quality and efficiency at the same time as we pursue universal coverage," says Commission chair James J. Mongan, M.D., CEO of Partners HealthCare in Boston. "We cannot, and should not, hold either of these facets of reform hostage while we wait for the other to happen."

The members of the Commission are a diverse group of leading health policy experts from government, private industry, health care delivery organizations, academia, and professional associations. The Commission has issued a number of reports on U.S. health care since its formation in 2005, including national and state scorecards on health system performance.

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