State Quality Improvement Institute

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In March 2008, AcademyHealth and The Commonwealth Fund announced the selection of nine state teams to participate in the State Quality Improvement Institutean intensive effort to help states plan and implement concrete action plans to improve performance across targeted quality indicators. The states selected for participation were Colorado, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. 

The states are currently implementing their action plans, which focus on making system-wide changes to the health care delivery system. The participating states are addressing the following:
  • Medical Homes—Several states are either working to define medical homes or implementing pilots to strengthen and support primary care.
  • Payment Reform—States are looking at their own purchasing strategies and building public/private partnerships to formulate a coordinated plan for paying for quality across payers.
  • States as Conveners—States are establishing formal groups to bring stakeholders together to advance a health care quality agenda.
  • Data Collection and Transparency—Several states have assembled all-payer databases that include all claims information from both public and private payers. The available information should permit better measurement of quality and effectiveness across health care systems. In addition, states are setting benchmarks for quality care and publicly reporting the performance of hospitals and providers.
  • Public Health and Prevention—As states consider the underlying causes of rising health costs, they recognize the impact of the rising level of disease burden. Several states are working to divert funds upstream to prevent chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease by investing in public health and prevention.