Rewarding and Addressing Quality in Medicare

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<p>Materials from two recent Commonwealth Fund-sponsored meetings on Medicare improvement are now available.<br><br><strong>Aligning Payment and Quality</strong><br>The summary from a recent expert meeting co-hosted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and The Commonwealth Fund, <em>Toward a Research Agenda on Quality-Payment Alignment: Findings From an Invitational Colloquium,</em> is now available on the AHRQ Web site at <a href=""></a&…;. The objectives of the meeting were to identify areas in which further research could improve decisions about selecting productive pay-for-performance initiatives, and to explore the design of such initiatives. The resulting recommendations address two gaps in knowledge: 1) the impact of payment mechanisms that reward health care providers for improving quality, and 2) financial incentives aimed at rewarding patients for choosing high-quality providers.<br><br><strong>Resolving Complaints</strong><br>The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. convened a working conference in January 2007 to address shortcomings in the current model for resolving Medicare beneficiaries' complaints about quality of care. Sponsored by The Commonwealth Fund, with assistance from AARP, the conference provided a forum for key stakeholders to discuss concerns and develop a blueprint for change. Issues identified include inadequate resolution of beneficiary complaints about poor quality, a lack of information about proper care protocols, and the failure to provide expedited review of denials of care. Materials from the conference, including the background papers and the narrative of the conference proceedings, are posted on the Center's Web site at <a href="">www.medicar…;