AHCPR: Bill Seeks To Expand Quality Measurement Role
Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) is pushing legislation to revamp the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research to focus more on quality, so that it will "become the central figure in our efforts to improve the quality of health care." Frist outlined the bill yesterday in a speech to the Association for Health Services Research. The proposal would change AHCPR to the Agency for Healthcare Quality, which would coordinate a number of efforts to disseminate information on new research and best medical practices. Frist said, "This is primarily an effort to ensure that when it comes to research that the right hand knows what the left is doing and then to put that science into action."
The new Agency for Healthcare Quality would be charged with a number of duties, including:
- Promoting quality by sharing information
- Building public-private partnerships to advance and share true quality measures
- Reporting annually on the state of quality, and cost, of the nation's health care
- Aggressively supporting improved information systems for health quality
- Supporting primary care research, and addressing issues of access in underserved areas
- Facilitating innovation in patient care with streamlined evaluation and assessment of new technologies
- Coordinating quality improvement efforts of the government (Frist release, 6/24).