• Affordability is often one of the most daunting barriers patients face in our healthcare system. A key first step to address this issue is to define what affordable care means from the patient’s perspective.

    NQF’s  Measuring Affordable Care Project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is exploring affordability from the vantage point of the patient, including which measures matter most to consumers, what type of data is needed for such measures, how to best leverage and report measures  to address consumer needs, and the factors that influence consumers’ perspectives of whether care is affordable.    

    Melissa Thomason, co-chair of the Measuring Affordable Care Committee and a patient advisor with the 2013 Eisenberg Award-winning Vidant Health System, illustrated the real world implications of affordable care by sharing her own personal story at the NQF meeting.

    “No one wants to talk about money because what cost can you put on a life . . . and how can you even measure that?” said Thomason, who described needing emergency open-heart surgery within hours of giving birth, the five heart surgeries that followed, the impact of the cost of her care on her family, and how it changed her perspectives on affordability.  Hear Melissa’s story: 

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