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Safe, Reliable Health Care Systems: Will Health Reform Legislation Help Get Us There?

Throughout the lengthy debate over health insurance expansions and new regulations in the recently passed health care reform legislation, relatively little attention has been paid to the parts of the law that seek to strengthen the delivery system. As discussed in a Commonwealth Fund blog post, several of these less-noted provisions could help build safer, more reliable health care systems—by promoting transparency and performance reporting, encouraging organized care, reforming the malpractice system, and supporting research on evidence-based care.

According to the authors, Vice President Anne-Marie J. Audet and Executive Vice President for Programs Stephen C. Schoenbaum, the "health reform law uses both carrots and sticks to help build a system of reliable care for every patient, every time." It does so by:

  • demanding greater transparency on provider performance;
  • fostering greater collaboration and teamwork among providers;
  • encouraging reform of our current system of medical malpractice; and
  • creating a private, nonprofit Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research.

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