Consumer Health Advocate Endorses Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, Says Engaging Patients as Co-Creators of Transformed Health Care System is Key to Success

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

“During this week when we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — the greatest advance for women’s health in a generation — it is fitting that we also focus on the ways we are changing our health care system to ensure that it delivers value-based, quality care to patients and families.

In addition to health coverage for millions more Americans, the enduring legacy of the ACA will include the steps taken to transform how health care is delivered, so that all families have access to higher quality, better coordinated care at lower cost.

The goals and timetable for payment reform announced earlier this year are a major step forward for our country. As a forum for public/private collaboration, the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network will help us meet these goals. The promise of payment reform is a transformed system that advances the ‘Triple Aim’ of better care, better outcomes, and smarter spending — a system that rewards value instead of volume. And the promise of payment reform is higher quality, better coordinated care that puts patients’ needs first and values patients and families as partners in health care decision-making. This kind of transformation will not only improve population health, but also the quality of life in this country.

We’ve come a long way. We’ve embraced quality measurement, accountability, electronic health records that improve integration and coordination of care, new models of care, and more. But in order for reform to succeed, we need one more paradigm shift: We need to embrace patients, families and consumers as co-creators of our new health care system. Not as advisors but as genuine partners and co-creators of the health care system we are building.

Working together, we can build a health care system that works for those most in need of coordinated, patient-centered care: the impoverished young mother with a high-risk pregnancy, the complex cancer patient, and the frail senior with multiple specialists and a dozen prescriptions. They are not well served by our health care system today, but we are on the road to changing that.

The National Partnership for Women & Families pledges to support the new Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network in every way possible. We will educate consumers about the benefits associated with alternative payment models that offer better care coordination and communication, more timely access to care, and more support for shared care planning and decision making. We will help patients and families understand and engage effectively in these new care models. We will facilitate partnerships between providers and patients. We will raise awareness about these new models and what they mean for all of us.

The new Learning and Action Collaborative is the future of health care. The National Partnership for Women & Families is tremendously proud to support it.”

About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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