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NQF and CAPC Team Up to Set Quality Standards for Community-Based Serious Illness Care


With the growing shift to community-based and patient-centered care, the National Quality Forum (NQF) and the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) have launched initiatives to ensure that patients with serious illness receive safe, effective, and high-quality care. At the same time, professionals in the healthcare industry are highlighting the importance of integrating this type of care into the oncology practice.

The healthcare system is currently seeing a large shift from hospital-based to community-based care. With millions of people, particularly the elderly, struggling with serious illness, there is a need for high-quality care from community-based providers.

The National Quality Forum (NQF) recently launched an effort to ensure that the care people with serious illnesses receive is safe and effective, in part by teaming up with the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) to improve outcomes among community-based providers of patients with serious illness. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has joined the effort with a $1.08 million grant to support the initiative, according to a NQF press release.

Working with CAPC, NQF will focus on improving outcomes with these providers by working to align performance measurement and accountability.

“As the number of Americans who are 65 or older grows dramatically over the next few decades, and as people live longer with serious illness, it is essential to ensure that they have access to high-quality, person-centered, serious illness care outside of hospital and hospice settings,” said Diane Meier, MD, director of CAPC.

CAPC recently launched the Serious Illness Quality Alignment Hub, a national initiative to work toward aligning the healthcare system’s accountability mechanisms with standards, measures, and best practices for caring for patients with serious illnesses. While there are already several mechanisms in place to hold providers accountable to evidence-based standards and high-quality care, the focus has primarily been on prevention and cost-efficiency, according to CAPC. This initiative will enhance those mechanisms by focusing on the measures and practices most important to the patients and their families.

As the popularity of community-based care grows, many have highlighted the importance of integrating this form of care into the oncology setting in particular.

In The American Journal of Managed Care’s® (AJMC®) June issue of Evidence Based Oncology, the focus was set on the integration of patient-centered and palliative care into the oncology practice. The issue discussed the importance of modernizing palliative care delivery, integrating social services with the overall care experience, and using the family meeting model to ensure families remain involved throughout the treatment process; using regulation and incentive to improve the integration; and incorporating pharmacists in the transition of care to ensure optimal, safe, and effective medication use.

The utilization of patient-centered and palliative care has also been included in the conversation of how to manage oncology costs.

At the annual Patient-Centered Oncology Care® meeting presented by AJMC®, Michael Kolodziej, MD, vice president and chief innovation officer of ADVI Health Inc, discussed several ways oncologists can impact the high cost of chemotherapy, poor end-of-life care, and unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency department visits.

Oncologists can impact all 3 pressure points by using patient-centered medical homes, embracing clinical care pathways, and encouraging better palliative care and better end-of-life care. Utilizing these measures will not only reduce hospitalizations and save money, but they will also create better experiences for patients, said Kolodziej.

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