The National Quality Forum (NQF) was created in 1999 by a coalition of public- and private-sector leaders in response to the recommendation of the Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry. In its final report, published in 1998, the commission concluded that an organization like NQF was needed to promote and ensure patient protections and healthcare quality through measurement and public reporting.
Today, NQF receives funding from both public and private sources, including grants from foundations, corporations, and the federal government. In recent years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have provided generous support for NQF. Other funders have included the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the Cardinal Health Foundation, Pfizer Inc., Sanofi-aventis, and the Texas Medical Institute of Technology. Thirty-four percent of the organization’s total funding comes directly from membership dues.
In 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) awarded a contract to NQF to help establish a portfolio of quality and efficiency measures that will allow the federal government to more clearly see how and whether healthcare spending is achieving the best results for patients and taxpayers. The contract is part of a provision in the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 that directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services “to contract with a consensus-based entity, such as the National Quality Forum.”
The contract provides $10 million for fiscal 2009 with the option for renewal each year through 2012, and is being administrated through DHHS’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.