|RWJF Announces $300-Million Commitment To Improve Quality of U.S. Healthcare
With increasing reports of dangerous deficiencies in the
quality of healthcare, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)
launched a $300-million commitment to improve quality in regions across
the United States.
Underscoring the scope of the problem, RWJF also
released new research showing that the quality of care people receive
can vary dramatically depending on their race and where they live.
The $300-million commitment to improve healthcare in 14
communities, that together cover 11 percent of the U.S. population, is
the largest effort of its kind ever undertaken by a U.S. philanthropy,
Known as Aligning Forces for Quality, the
community-focused program will lift the overall quality of healthcare,
reduce racial and ethnic disparities and provide models for national
"Across America, there are serious gaps between the
healthcare that people should receive and the care they actually
receive," said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of RWJF.
"Despite having the most expensive healthcare system in the world,
patients are subject to too many mistakes, too much miscommunication
and too much inequity. As a result, too many Americans aren’t
receiving the care they need and deserve. This unprecedented commitment
of resources, expertise and training will turn proven practices for
improving quality into real results in communities across America."
The new research, conducted by the Dartmouth Atlas
Project at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical
Practice for the Aligning Forces for Quality initiative, analyzes
Medicare claims to illustrate staggering variations in healthcare
quality across the country. Researchers examined five different
measures of care at the state level and in the 14 Aligning Forces for
Researchers found significant differences by race and by
region in whether patients lost a leg to amputation, a complication of
peripheral vascular disease and diabetes, RWJF said.
The report also demonstrates significant differences in
whether people get basic recommended care — such as women getting
regular mammography tests or patients with diabetes getting essential
About one in seven patients with diabetes are not getting crucial blood tests.
Aligning Forces for Quality will concentrate its resources in 14 communities across the country:
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Detroit, Mich.
- Humboldt County, Calif.
- Kansas City, Mo.
- Memphis, Tenn.
- Seattle, Wash.
- South Central Pennsylvania
- Western Michigan
- Western New York
- Willamette Valley, Ore.
They were selected as part of a highly competitive
process to find communities that were positioned to make fundamental
and cutting-edge changes to rebuild their healthcare systems.
Address: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Route 1 and College Road East, P.O. Box 2316, Princeton, NJ 08543; (877) 843-7953, www.rwjf.org.