Promoting quality in health reform - I'm sorry, did you say quality?

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Okay folks, take a deep breath and think quality. With the high-pitched buzz about increased access to services with the advent of health care reform, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. The jewel in the crown known as "quality of service" is quietly sitting in the corner of the room. If we are not careful, quality runs a high risk of not getting invited to the decision-making table.

Harsh, right? Well, actually not, and thanks to Network faithful who are keen on us backing up what we say with data, let's look at a few tasty morsels that will make you cringe:

Jeeze, someone give me a bromoseltzer... So it's great for accounting, great for cutting cost, but is it great for quality of services provided? Is it great for the end user? I don't think so and I sure don't see the issue of quality for the end user of services being discussed in this article or many articles like it - only cost containment.

Okay, still not convinced that quality is getting overlooked, are ya? Well, how about this little tidbit to further upset your stomach:

Combine the results identified in the examples above with the efforts to farm out responsibilities happening across the country and cutting costs and consolidating functions without actively considering how to maintain high standards for quality of care... Looks like  "Quality" is gonna remain in the corner of the room... unless we collectively raise a ruckus.

Scott Bryant-Comstock, President & CEO
Children's Mental Health Network


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