NQF Statement on Bipartisan Senate Action to Improve the Quality of Rural Healthcare 

JUL 15, 2016

CONTACT: Sofia Kosmetatos

NQF Statement on Bipartisan Senate Action to Improve the Quality of Rural Healthcare

"We are pleased that Congress has taken up the recommendations of the National Quality Forum’s Rural Health Committee, which called for integrating rural providers into Medicare quality improvement programs, and applaud the co-chairs of the Bipartisan Senate Rural Health Caucus for their leadership in this important initiative.

In a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, caucus co-chairs, Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Al Franken (D-MN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Pat Roberts (R-KS), urge the agency to include rural providers in Centers for Medicare and Medicaid quality measurement and improvement programs. They also urge HHS to task NQF to further the work of the Measure Applications Partnership and convene a rural workgroup to identify measures and measure gaps for rural healthcare improvement.

Sens. Franken and Heitkamp also have introduced a bill—part of a legislative package to improve healthcare for millions of rural Americans—to legislate many of the NQF Rural Health Committee’s recommendations. The Rural Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 2016 establishes a core set of healthcare quality measures for rural providers and provides support, via grants, for rural providers to implement or expand quality improvement reporting programs.

Quality improvement is important in all care settings and for all Americans, and these efforts are vital steps toward ensuring better care for rural Americans.”

Helen Darling, MA
Interim President and CEO
National Quality Forum