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Maine Quality Forum Launches Safety Program

The Maine Quality Forum (MQF) has rolled out a Safety Star Recognition Program that will enable employers and consumers to recognize hospitals in the state that are providing the safest care to patients. A team of safety experts will verify whether hospitals applying for recognition (on a voluntary basis) have implemented 28 specified safety practices, chosen from standards developed by the National Quality Forum (NQF). Hospitals that meet or exceed the established thresholds will receive "Safety Star" certification. Applications are expected this fall. Maine's large, self-insured employers intend to use Safety Star status as a criterion in tiered networks and a factor in pay-for-performance programs.

MQF, an independent division of the Dirigo Health Agency established as part of the comprehensive Dirigo Health Reform of 2003, serves as a public source of information about the quality of health care. It collects, analyzes, and publishes comparative data on quality of care by providers in the state, collaborating with the Maine Health Data Organization and other private and public institutions. MQF reports to the state legislature and consumers through its Web site, advised by a 17-member council comprised of leaders from provider, business, insurance, and consumer groups.

The MQF operates under the principle that provider transparency and accountability are the keys to improving the quality and safety of care; public reporting is their method of enhancing provider responsibility.

For More Information
Contact: Dennis Shubert, [email protected], (207) 287-9900


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