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Michael K. Gusmano

In: Guide to U.S. Health and Health Care Policy

Chapter 16: Promoting Health Care Quality and Safety (1960s–Present)

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Promoting Health Care Quality and Safety (1960s–Present)
Promoting health care quality and safety (1960s–present)
Michael K.Gusmano

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) is known, primarily, for expanding access to health insurance through an individual mandate, the creation of state health insurance exchanges, and enlarging the Medicaid program. Along with the provisions designed to expand access, the PPACA places significant emphasis on improving the quality of medical care by funding research, collecting and disseminating quality data, and reorganizing the health care system to create greater incentives for high-quality, patient-centered care.

The focus on quality is a relatively recent phenomenon. When the federal government created the Medicare and Medicaid programs in 1965, most policymakers assumed that the United States had the best health care system in ...

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