New Jerseyans expect the highest quality health care for all of our residents, including those on Medicare. Unfortunately, this study, entitled "Change in the Quality of Care Delivered to Medicare Beneficiaries, 1998-1999 to 2000-2001," demonstrates that our health care system continues to underperform.
New Jersey must do better.
Since becoming Commissioner a year ago, I have made improving health care quality a top priority. The Department of Health and Senior Services is working closely with physicians, hospitals and health plans to accomplish this.
Next month, we are bringing together nationally recognized experts from New Jersey and around the United States for a health care quality symposium jointly sponsored by DHSS and the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Hospital and managed care leaders will learn and discuss best practices in health care.
The department will assist in disseminating information about health care best practices to New Jersey institutions to improve quality at all hospitals. Then, in 2004, the department will issue a quality performance report comparing all hospitals in the state. The report format and content are being developed in conjunction with the department's Quality Improvement Advisory Council, which has been reconvened and charged with this task.
New Jersey must be at the forefront of quality health care. It's residents deserve no less.
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