Report to Congress
The Affordable Care Act seeks to increase access to high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. To that end, the law requires the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care (the National Quality Strategy) that sets priorities to guide this effort and includes a strategic plan for how to achieve it. This report describes the initial Strategy and plan for implementation.
The National Quality Strategy will promote quality health care in which the needs of patients, families, and communities guide the actions of all those who deliver and pay for care. It will incorporate the evidence-based results of the latest research and scientific advances in clinical medicine, public health, and health care delivery. It will foster a delivery system that works better for clinicians and provider organizations—reducing their administrative burdens and helping them collaborate to improve care. It is guided by principles (available at www.ahrq.gov/workingforquality) that were developed with input by stakeholders across the health care system, including Federal and State agencies, local communities, provider organizations, clinicians, patients, businesses, employers, and payers. Most importantly, the implementation of this Strategy will lead to a measurable improvement in outcomes of care, and in the overall health of the American people.