New National Quality Forum (NQF) CEO Dr. Christine Cassel Testifies at U.S. Senate Finance Committee Hearing on June 26th 

JUN 26, 2013

CONTACT: Erin Weireter, NQF

New National Quality Forum (NQF) CEO Dr. Christine Cassel Testifies at U.S. Senate Finance Committee Hearing on June 26th
Dr. Cassel’s remarks focus on how quality performance measures improve U.S. health care and what can be done to accelerate their impact

Washington, DC
– NQF President and CEO Christine Cassel, MD testifies today before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee at a 10:00am hearing (215 Dirksen) focused on health care quality and the path forward for improvement. She will speak to how performance measures have evolved over the last decade, as well as her vision for how NQF can more swiftly and effectively foster quality improvement through measurement.

“It sounds simple, but it is true, that focusing on quality will only be effective if the tools we use to measure are themselves high quality,” said Dr. Cassel. “High quality measures are meaningful to patients and payers, actionable by providers, and meet high medical and scientific standards.” She added, “It’s critical that multiple stakeholders agree on what is important to measure, in order to foster buy-in which encourages use of high-quality measures across the country.”

Dr. Cassel is the newly appointed President and CEO of NQF. Previously, Dr. Cassel was President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine and ABIM Foundation, where for 10 years she spearheaded efforts to promote physician professionalism and certification, quality improvement, and the important role physicians play in stewarding resources wisely. Board certified in geriatrics and internal medicine, Dr. Cassel also serves on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

Having spent the past several months listening to stakeholders on how NQF can become an even more effective, responsive organization, Dr. Cassel is now prepared to leverage these ideas and lead the organization in advancing performance improvement and high-quality health care.

Read Dr. Cassel’s full testimony. 

Background on NQF 

Founded in 1999, NQF is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with over 440 organizational members – including physicians, hospitals, businesses, consumer and patient representatives, health plans, certifying bodies and other health care stakeholders – and collectively embody NQF’s public service mission to improve the health of the nation. NQF has two distinct but complementary roles focused on enhancing the quality and value of the U.S. health care system:

  • NQF reviews and endorses quality performance measures. These measures are used by public and private payers to assess how well doctors, hospitals and other providers are doing in offering high-quality care, and are also used by providers to benchmark their performance against peers and national standards. About two-thirds of the measures that the federal government uses in its health care programs are NQF endorsed. There is also widespread use of NQF-endorsed measures by hospitals and health plans at the state, regional and local levels.
  • In addition to endorsing measures, NQF also convenes diverse, private sector health care stakeholders to provide input to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) quality improvement efforts. More specifically, the NQF-convened National Priorities Partnership (NPP) has served as a forum for a diverse group of stakeholders to provide initial and ongoing input to the HHS developed National Quality Strategy (NQS), which is focused on improving care, increasing affordability and building healthier communities. The NQF-convened Measures Application Partnership (MAP) is another diverse stakeholder group that works together to make recommendations on which measures should be used in Federal payment and public reporting programs, including Hospital Value Based Purchasing and the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), among others.