Hospital Leader Traces Healthcare Quality as Policy Matter in AJMC

The evolution of healthcare quality as a matter of public policy is the subject of the latest commentary marking the 20th anniversary of The American Journal of Managed Care. Charles N. Kahn III, MPH, president and CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals, traces how quality's components emerged in the wake of a groundbreaking report on hospital safety.


PLAINSBORO, N.J.--It's hard to imagine, but a generation ago the quality of healthcare was barely on the policy radar screen. The public assumed doctors and hospitals were doing the best job possible, and measuring quality was not discussed.

Then, as Charles N. Kahn III, MPH, writes in this month’s issue of The American Journal of Managed Care, the Institute of Medicine report, “Crossing the Quality Chasm,” shocked the healthcare system with accounts of medical errors in the nation’s hospitals. The IOM report and other research “were our clarion call—there was an urgent need to improve hospital quality and performance, so that no patient would ever have to worry about substandard care.”

Fortunately, as Kahn, the president and CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals writes, the report shook the healthcare industry into action, and quality became part of the public policy agenda. In his essay, “Building Upon the Strong Foundation of National Healthcare Quality,” Kahn traces how the components of safety, accountability, measurement, transparency, and collaboration became part of the current efforts to assess how well hospitals and the rest of healthcare system are doing in delivery care. For the full commentary, click here.

Today, Kahn writes, the nation is in the midst of a second wave of transformation, one that seeks to not only raise the quality bar but also drive down costs by making people healthier from the start, rather than shift costs to someone else’s balance sheet. “The implementation of pay-for-performance programs has already yielded key successes in just a few years’ time,” he writes.

Kahn’s commentary is the ninth in the series marking the 20th year of publication of The American Journal of Managed Care, the nation’s leading peer-reviewed journal on healthcare outcomes research. To read the rest of the series, visit our special anniversary page.

About the Journals and

The American Journal of Managed Care celebrates its 20th year in 2015 as the leading peer-reviewed journal dedicated to issues in managed care. distributes healthcare news to leading stakeholders across a variety of platforms. Other titles in the franchise include The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, which provides pharmacy and formulary decision-makers with information to improve the efficiency and health outcomes in managing pharmaceutical care, and The American Journal of Accountable Care, which publishes research and commentary on innovative healthcare delivery models facilitated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. AJMC’s Evidence-Based series brings together stakeholder views from payers, providers, policy makers, and pharmaceutical leaders in oncology and diabetes management. To order reprints of articles appearing in AJMC publications, please call (609) 716-7777, x 131.


Nicole Beagin

(609) 716-7777 x 131

Related Content
CH LogoCenter for Biosimilars Logo