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URAC Supports Recommendations to Improve Health Care Quality and Affordability From 'Stand for Quality'

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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URAC Joins Key Health Care Reform Leadership Group To Focus Discussion on Patients and Quality

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- URAC, the nation's leading healthcare accreditation and education organization, announced today that it has joined the more than 180 organizations supporting Stand for Quality. Stand for Quality is made up of organizations including AARP, the American Medical Association, National Consumers League, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that represent every segment of the health care industry. Together the coalition is calling on the Obama Administration and Congress to create a robust national infrastructure for developing and standardizing health care quality improvement measures and reporting, promoting organizational transparency and accountability, and ensuring better educated providers and patients.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030501/URACLOGO)

"Stand for Quality's patient-centered, quality-focused framework for reforming health care is in complete alignment with URAC's programs. We share a commitment to bring safe, effective, efficient, and affordable care to all Americans," said Alan P. Spielman, URAC President and CEO. "Like Stand for Quality, URAC believes that standardized measures and public reporting are critical in establishing a strong foundation for sharing what works best clinically -- giving providers and patients the information they need to make optimal care decisions."

Already, Stand for Quality has had a major impact on Congress. An extensive set of quality-related provisions are included in both the House's and Senate's draft health care reform legislation. The organization's recommendations outlined in its report, Building a Foundation for High Quality, Affordable Health Care: Linking Performance Measurement to Health Reform, work to create an integrated coalition that will provide health care providers and consumers with the knowledge to make informed decisions about industry reform.

Some of the key recommendations that align with URAC's goals include the following:

"URAC believes this is the most critical time to raise the bar on health care in the United States. By joining the chorus of diverse, credible voices represented by Stand for Quality, individually taking steps to improve care within our own domains, and working along with Congress and the Administration, there is a great opportunity to create the world class health care system we all desire," said Alan Spielman. "Alongside Stand for Quality, URAC is committed to more transparency and accountability in health care, and clear quality standards for all health care providers."

To learn more about URAC's position on health care reform issues including policy options for expanding health care coverage, read URAC's Congressional testimony at http://www.urac.org/policyMakers/resources/UracTestimony.aspx.

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation, education and measurement programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit www.urac.org.

About Stand for Quality

Stand for Quality represents a diverse cross-section of health care organizations who are calling on the Obama Administration and Congress to support the performance measurement, reporting and improvement enterprise. The organization's recommendations, outlined in the report Building a Foundation for High Quality, Affordable Health Care: Linking Performance Measurement to Health Reform, are the product of a partnership among patient and consumer groups, employers and public purchasers, representatives of physicians, nurses and other clinicians, health plans, hospitals, and others. For more information or to read the report, visit www.standforquality.org.

-- Performance measurement is a core building block to provide high quality affordable health care; -- Investment in health information technology should be linked to improving care; and -- Measurement of performance is key to improving quality and reducing costs.

SOURCE URAC
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