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Helping States Enhance Health Care Quality

March 16th, 2010

As health spending in the United States tops 17 percent of GDP, policymakers are asking for higher quality outcomes in health care. A GrantWatch article in the March 2010 issue of Health Affairs, discusses the State Quality Improvement Institute, which was created by the Commonwealth Fund and AcademyHealth, “to assist states in implementing sustainable quality improvement strategies.” The institute is a learning collaborative and technical assistance project, and the eight participating states (Colorado, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) were competitively selected.

Authors Enrique Martinez-Vidal, Anne K. Gauthier, and Allison DiVincenzo point out how states are “uniquely positioned to be leaders in redesigning the delivery system.” They discuss lessons learned through the institute’s work and the policy challenges encountered by the institute (such as current resource limitations). The authors note that the participating states’ experiences “may offer insights for other states seeking to achieve similar goals.”

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