C&C Speaks Out for Patient Empowerment
This month Compassion & Choices, along with other leading healthcare organizations, submitted comments on Person and Family Centered Care to the National Quality Forum (NQF) with the goal of influencing the decision-making process behind creating quality standards in healthcare.
NQF isn’t a government agency, although federal and state governments rely on NQF-defined standards and practices when deciding how to improve care. Many of the measures set forth by the NQF go on to be used in federal, state and private-sector programs.
As the leading organization working to improve end-of-life care, Compassion & Choices’ comments could impact how thousands of medical providers will interpret and report their performance to Medicare.
In our comments, Compassion & Choices urged the National Quality Forum to expand a measurement for providers to involve patients in the decision-making process (Measure 2962: Shared-Decision Making Process). Unfortunately the way the measure is currently written, it would only apply to people who have undergone any one of seven common, important surgical procedures: total replacement of the knee or hip, lower back surgery for spinal stenosis of a herniated disc, radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer, mastectomy for early stage breast cancer or percutaneous coronary intervention for stable angina.
We believe strongly that patients should be empowered throughout their medical care, especially during an advanced illness, to receive treatment that honors their goals, wishes and values. We hope the NQF will reexamine this measure and expand it to have a larger impact on patient-centered care.