HHS announces Quality Summit to streamline and improve quality programs across government

July 10, 2019

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan announced the formation of the Quality Summit (QS), which will bring together key industry stakeholders and government leaders to discuss how current quality programs administered by HHS can be further evaluated, adapted, and ultimately streamlined to deliver a value-based care model focused on improving outcomes for American patients.

On June 24, the Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First Executive Order was signed, Hargan said, directing federal agencies to develop a Health Quality Roadmap that aims to align and improve reporting on data and quality measures across federal health programs.

HHS quality programs, which include programs within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Indian Health Service (IHS), are designed to improve outcomes for program beneficiaries, reduce provider burden, and improve transparency through expanded public reporting of performance results.

Initially implemented beginning in 2000, many of these programs have evolved to include additional measures. Yet, the quality programs across agencies and as a whole have not been subject to a systemic objective external review since their inception. As part of its mission to enhance and promote the health and well-being of the American people, HHS is undertaking a review to ensure quality and value transparency for all patients served by these programs.

The goal of the Summit is to create a discussion forum about how HHS can formulate a Health Quality Roadmap that will align and improve reporting on data and quality measures, in keeping with President Trump’s executive order on price and quality transparency in healthcare. The Summit participants, to be comprised of government stakeholders and approximately 15 non-government healthcare industry leaders, will offer critical insight into discussions surrounding the modernization of HHS’s quality programs that will build upon a patient-centered approach that increases competition, quality, and access to care. The Summit participants will also discuss the task of identifying burdensome regulations and the mechanisms needed to improve providers’ abilities to deliver high-quality care to their patients.

The Summit will be chaired by Deputy Secretary Hargan and Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, an internationally renowned expert on healthcare quality and patient safety.

HHS will accept nominations for participants beginning on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 and ending on Wednesday July 31, 2019. Nominations should consist of a one-page cover letter summarizing an applicant’s qualifications along with an applicant’s resume or CV. Nominations must be submitted via e-mail to [email protected] with the subject line: “Quality Summit Application.”