June 13, 2017

 

Senator Johnny Isakson
131 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510     
Senator Mark Warner
475 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 
   
Congressman Phil Roe
336 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515  
Congressman Earl Blumenauer
1111 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515 

 

Dear Senators Isakson & Warner and Representatives Roe & Blumenauer

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is pleased to endorse the bipartisan Patient Choice and Quality Care Act that you have introduced.

This important legislation promotes a patient-centered approach to advanced illness and end-of-life care. The legislation does this by:

  • Testing ways for people to take part in team-based planning so their advance and end-of-life care fits their own goals, values and preferences.
  • Funding public education on advance care planning.
  • Letting qualified clinical social workers provide advanced care planning and ensuring that costs do not keep patients from using advanced care planning services.
  • Requiring Medicare providers to follow advanced directives and orders, regardless of the state or site of care.
  • Investing in quality measures on how advanced care aligns with patients’ own wishes.

NCQA is currently developing measures to assess how well advanced care meets goals identified and prioritized by individual advanced and end-of-life care patients. These are substantially different from our other HEDIS®[1] measures that assess quality of care for patients at earlier stages of disease and life. Our research shows that individual advance care patient goals include things like staying in their own home, avoiding falls and hospital stays, and being healthy enough for vacations and family visits.

The measures we are working on rate how well such goals are incorporated into patient care plans and then tracked over time to view progress toward, or maintenance of, the goals. As with your legislation, we envision a measurement system that adapts to what individual advanced care patients identify as most important to them.

We are very encouraged by the close alignment between your bipartisan, bicameral legislation and our work on these measures. We look forward to working with you and other stakeholders to advance this work to improve the quality of care and life for those with advanced illness and end-of-life care needs  

Thank you again for your thoughtful leadership on this important issue. If you have questions, please contact Paul Cotton, Director of Federal Affairs, at cotton@ncqa.org or (202) 955-5162.

Sincerely,

Margaret O’Kane,
President


[1] HEDIS – the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set – is a registered trademark of NCQA.