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Report Identifies Best Practices for Hospital Quality

A new National Academy of Medicine (NAM) report identifies best practices of hospitals that perform well in quality measurement programs despite serving disproportionately higher shares of vulnerable populations.

According to the report, hospitals that disproportionately serve patients with social risk factors for poor health outcomes might be more likely to perform poorly in quality rankings and less likely to receive financial incentives linked to Medicare and alternative payment models.

The report finds six best practices from community-informed, patient-centered systems that show promise for improving care among socially at-risk populations and mitigating poor performance:

  • commitment and accountability to health equity
  • use of data to understand populations’ health and risk factors
  • comprehensive needs assessments
  • collaborative partnerships
  • care continuity
  • patient engagement and individualized care

This report is the second in a series of five reports by NAM that aims to identify social risk factors that affect the health outcomes of Medicare beneficiaries, as well as methods to account for these factors in Medicare payment programs.

America’s Essential Hospitals has been a leading advocate for risk-adjustment based on socioeconomic status for quality measures in Medicare payment programs to ensure that hospitals caring for vulnerable patients are not disproportionately and unfairly penalized for the challenges their patients face.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Matt Buechner is the policy and advocacy associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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