March 05, 2009 15:38 ET

Statement by NCQA President Margaret E. O'Kane on White House Summit on Health Care Reform

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - March 5, 2009) - Margaret E. O'Kane, President of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), released the following statement regarding today's White House Summit on Health Care Reform:

"Confronting our nation's pervasive challenges to deliver high-quality, affordable health care is a moral imperative. I applaud today's summit as it indicates President Obama's willingness to take on the mantle of leadership in this regard.

"Our current health care system is far too costly, covers too few Americans and delivers extremely uneven quality. Our failure to provide patients with the right care, in the right place, at the right time is costing us as many as 90,000 lives a year. The time for reform is now.

"Many of the participants in today's summit noted the pressing need to improve the quality of care Americans receive. I couldn't agree more. For health reform to meaningfully advance quality, it must address four key areas:

--  The health plans we entrust to provide us access to care must be
    accountable for the quality of their care by being required to measure and
    report on care quality as a condition of doing business;
--  Payment reforms must recognize and reward coordinated care -- focusing
    on primary care, Patient-Centered Medical Homes, and integrated delivery
--  Doctors and hospitals must use health information technology to make
    meaningful improvements in their performance; and
--  The nation must invest in enriching our base of medical evidence and
    expanding the number and type of measures we use to drive improvement.

"NCQA supports the efforts of President Obama, leaders in Congress, and the many stakeholders who participated in today's summit to reform the American health care system so that we can all receive the kind of health care we want and deserve."

Contact Information

    Jeff Van Ness
    (202) 955-3518