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NAM Report: Policy Priorities for Better Health with Lower Per-Capita Spending

March 27, 2017

The National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) Vital Directions for Health and Health Care Initiative released its final report outlining top policy priorities for improving Americans’ health while reducing what we spend per capita on health care. The report summarizes 19 papers and a national symposium that examined the issue over the past 18 months.

The report identifies four top action priorities:

  • Pay for value—deliver better health and better health care results for all
  • Empower people—democratize action for health
  • Activate communities—collaborate to mobilize resources for health progress
  • Connect care—implement seamless digital interfaces for best care

HAP efforts that align with these priorities include:

  • The Hospital Improvement Innovation Network—About 100 Pennsylvania hospitals and HAP are working together and with other health care stakeholders to build hospital cultures of safety that include patients and families, improve care coordination, and advance patient safety and quality.
  • Community health collaboratives—Hospitals in northeast, south central, and southeastern Pennsylvania are working together and with public health and community stakeholders to address social determinants of health and improve community health.

To support the NAM initiative’s action priorities, the report calls for policy reforms to measure what matters most, modernize skills, accelerate real-world evidence, and advance science. HAP continues to advocate with government and commercial insurers for the development of a common platform of metrics associated with value-based care.

The report also calls for the fostering of transparency in health care outcomes, quality, safety, and financial considerations. Here too, HAP has taken major steps forward with its:

  • Care in PA interactive database of health care quality and financial information
  • Guidelines for Consumer-Focused Hospital Financial Services, designed to help hospitals communicate more effectively and transparently with patients regarding financial responsibilities

For more information about HAP’s quality and safety work, please contact Lisa Lesko, HAP’s director, quality initiatives. For more information about HAP’s community health collaboratives please contact Rob Shipp, HAP’s vice president, population health strategies.

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