PPC and the PSTF also collaborated on comments to CMS on the 2008 proposed physician payment rule that dealt with the PQRI and submitted comments to CMS staff on the draft feedback report that PQRI participating physicians and other health professionals will receive upon completion of the 2007 program.
In other action, at the PPC’s recommendation, SHM endorsed legislation that would authorize federal funding for the development and testing of inpatient pediatric quality measures. When it comes to measuring and reporting on healthcare quality, children’s measures lag far behind those for adult care. The Children’s Health Care Quality Act (S. 1226/H.R. 2723) would address this disparity.
FY 2008 Appropriations
SHM continues to call on Congress to increase funding for the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) in view of the important role the agency plays in supporting quality improvement and patient safety initiatives.
Our efforts are paying off. Legislation approved by the House of Representatives and by the Senate Appropriations Committee would boost AHRQ funding in FY 2008 by $10 million to $329 million, the first increase for the agency in several years. SHM members sent 100 messages to Capitol Hill in support of increased spending for AHRQ. Research Committee Chair Andrew Auerbach, MD, visited with legislative staff Sept. 17 to advocate for greater funding for AHRQ and the creation of a new Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research within the agency. Dr. Auerbach is assistant professor of medicine in residence at the University of California, San Francisco.
At press time, Congress had not taken final action on FY 2008 appropriations for AHRQ.
The PPC keeps you informed about our legislative and regulatory activities through monthly updates posted via the SHM Web site, The Hospitalist, and our e-newsletter. SHM letters to Congress and CMS are on the SHM Web site as well. Depending on the issue, you might also get an e-mail urging you to visit our legislative action center at www.hospitalmedicine.org/beheard and contact your members of Congress. We depend on your involvement in the legislative process to be effective in Washington. We appreciate your feedback. You can reach me at [email protected].