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Quality Care Coalition to Promote Value in Health Care

April 21, 2010
Press Release

Contact: Maria Reppas, (202) 225-6631 / (202) 527-0149

Washington, DC - Today, the official formation of the Quality Care Coalition was announced by Representatives Betty McCollum (D-Minn), Bruce Braley (D-Ia.), Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), and Ron Kind (D-Wis.). The Quality Care Coalition will provide Members of Congress a forum to transform the health care system to reward value in care and make evidence-based, quality care the standard regardless of location in the United States. The Coalition will also continue to address geographic variation in Medicare reimbursement for seniors.

During health care reform negotiations, a group of over 30 Members of Congress - representing areas penalized by the current Medicare payment system - came together to achieve a historic agreement with the Obama Administration to change the way Medicare reimburses.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will convene the National Summit on Geographic Variation, Cost, Access, and Value in Health Care to further explore and develop solutions to the Medicare geographic disparity issue later this year.
"Medicare is responsible for providing health care to 45 million Americans," said Rep. McCollum. "My commitment is to ensure that Medicare patients all across America receive high-quality health care and improve patient outcomes. This Coalition will continue to work with Members of Congress and Obama Administration to prioritize the best value in health care delivery."

"Late at night in the days leading up to this spring's historic health care vote, the Quality Care Coalition secured critical changes to the health care bill that have the potential to revolutionize the way Medicare does business," Rep. Braley said. "The Quality Care Coalition will play a critical role in making sure the Obama Administration continues working toward a reimbursement model that ends geographic disparities and finally rewards doctors for providing high-quality care, rather than performing unnecessary procedures."

"Changing the health care system to lower costs and improve care hasn't been easy nor is it finished," said Rep. Jay Inslee. "Working together we were able to create solutions that will reorganize the way we pay for health care, rewarding quality of outcomes rather than just quantity of services. The Quality Care Coalition will continue to be a leading voice in Congress on addressing bloated health care spending and bending the cost curve, in order to ensure better patient outcomes and economic viability. Forming this Coalition is our way of saying quality care is a long term effort, and we are in it for the long haul."

"A value-based reimbursement system benefits all states and all regions," said Rep. Kind. "As the Quality Care Coalition, we've begun to reform our health care system in to one that puts quality before quantity, keeps our best interest in mind, and keeps costs under control. We've taken significant strides to change the way we pay for health care in this country, but there is more work to be done in promoting quality and value in our Medicare system. I am pleased to be part of this group and look forward to working with my colleagues to make sure implementation of the health care reform bill achieves the objectives we fought so hard to include."

Congresswoman Betty McCollum serves on the House Appropriations and Budget Committees.