In Pursuit of Quality and Efficiency, Many States Find Support in Affordable Care Act

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<p>A number of states have recognized that the success of national health care reform will depend a great deal on their ability to address quality concerns and control costs in the delivery of health care. In a new <a href="/publications/fund-reports/2010/dec/state-strategies-improve-quality-and-efficiency-making-most">publication</a> from The Commonwealth Fund and the National Academy for State Health Policy, researchers report on what 10 states are doing to improve quality and efficiency in health care, and how they plan to take advantage of opportunities in the Affordable Care Act to expand the collection and reporting of quality data, bring about payment reform, and engage consumers and providers. </p>
<p>The new report describes how the profiled states have successfully used public–private partnerships to further their delivery system goals and highlights how national health reform will enable them to build on these efforts. For example: </p>
<strong>Colorado</strong> has created the Interagency Health Reform Implementation Board to provide governance, rules and regulations, and administrative infrastructure to facilitate planning for Affordable Care Act implementation. The board comprises cabinet members and a director of health reform implementation. </li>
<li>Leaders in <strong>Vermont</strong> see the Affordable Care Act as bolstering the state's Blueprint for Health. In particular, newly available federal funds should allow Vermont to scale up the Blueprint Integrated Pilot Program, which is working with Medicaid, private insurers, and community health teams to implement medical homes for state residents. </li>
<strong>Pennsylvania</strong> officials anticipate that federal health reform will support the work of regional learning collaboratives formed by the state's Chronic Care Initiative, and enable wider dissemination of tools that help patients manage their chronic conditions better and share in decision-making. </li>
<p>"States can use the momentum of national health care reform to build on past improvement efforts and successes and develop new initiatives," say lead authors Jill Rosenthal and Anne Gauthier. "As federal officials develop guidelines to implement the Affordable Care Act, we encourage them to engage in structured conversations with states now in order to develop the new state–federal partnerships that will be necessary to transform the health care system."</p>