FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
As Department of Health and Human Services Releases Two Critically Important Reports, Leading Patient Advocate Applauds Commitment to Quality Improvement, Calls for Meaningful Reform this Year
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, DC — May 6, 2009 — “ Today the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released two reports that call into sharp relief the urgent need to reform our health care system; the National Healthcare Quality Report and the National Healthcare Disparities Report. These reports demonstrate once again that we need major improvements in the quality, safety and efficiency of care for all Americans, and we need them now.
Improving the quality and safety of care could not be more important for patients and their families. They see a health care system that is fragmented, uncoordinated and unequal, and know they deserve better. For patients with multiple serious chronic conditions, minorities and low-income patients, the situation is dire. It is deeply troubling that disparities in care persist and absolutely unacceptable that so many patients fall through the cracks in our health care system. We need reform that will eliminate disparities and ensure that our high-risk, high cost, most vulnerable patients receive the quality, patient-centered care they need and deserve.
I am heartened that so many of our leaders recognize the urgent need to reform our health care system. I commend Secretary Sebelius for her commitment to expanding state-based hospital-acquired infection prevention efforts. And we strongly support the Secretary’s call to reduce Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections in Intensive Care Units by 75 percent over the next three years.
We rely on these reports to give us an indication of the progress we’re making toward high quality health care for all Americans. And year after year they tell us we’re making only incremental progress. That’s simply not good enough. To truly transform the health care system, we need to change the way we pay for and deliver care, and ensure that we reward and encourage better coordinated, integrated and accountable care. There is no time to waste.”
The National Partnership is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting access to quality health care, fairness in the workplace, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.