Coalition Receives $1.2 Million to Improve Quality, Value of Health Care in Four-County AreaThe Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Selects Local Nonprofit to Continue in National Effort; Coalition Unveils New Name for Expanded Efforts
The New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality announced today that it has been awarded a grant of $1.2 million over the next two years for the final phase of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) initiative, a national effort to lift the quality and value of health care in communities across America.
The New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality, which is located within HealthInsight New Mexico, is one of 16 organizations across the country designated as an AF4Q community, is the only designated community in the southwest, and has been participating in the initiative since 2009.
The Aligning Forces for Quality program was originally launched by the Foundation in 2006 and remains the largest effort of its kind ever undertaken by a U.S. philanthropy. Through the program, the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality will work to improve health care in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia Counties by working on the following focus areas: engaging patients in their care, publicly reporting on the quality of care provided by local physicians and hospitals, implementing quality improvement programs in doctors’ offices and hospitals, and exploring new payment methods to promote high-quality care.
In the fourth and final phase of AF4Q, the New Mexico Coalition will accelerate its work, leveraging progress in the focus areas listed above and striving for sustainable progress in meeting the goals of a reformed health care system: better value, greater transparency, and improved care coordination.
“This grant allows us to continue to collaborate with community leaders, patients, doctors, nurses, employers, and insurers so everyone in the community can receive the right care at the right time.” said Patricia Montoya, project director for the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality. “We are committed to finding new ways to improve our health care system so we can have a healthier community and, ultimately, a healthier state.”
Geographic Expansion and Name Change
While the original funding aimed to serve Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, this final phase of funding expands the coalition’s work to the four-county metropolitan area (Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia counties). With this geographic expansion, the coalition announced that it is changing its name from the Albuquerque Coalition for Healthcare Quality to the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality.
“Our modified name shows our expanded reach across the community and gives us the option to spread our work across the state as opportunities present themselves over the next two years,” said Montoya. “Our name continues to reflect our steady commitment to being a neutral, multi-stakeholder coalition focused on improve health care quality in our community.”
In the next two years, the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality will expand on the cutting-edge changes already underway to achieve sustainable improvements in the quality of health care local hospitals and doctors deliver, while continuing to focus on developing and testing models of paying for health care that encourage high-quality care and using dollars more wisely.
“The final phase of this program is not so much an end as a beginning,” said Anne F. Weiss, MPP, team director and senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Our goal is not just lasting change in these 16 communities, but also to provide models of reform for the rest of the country to follow.”
Coalition Shares Successes, Goals for Future
Over the past four years, the New Mexico Coalition has achieved success in inpatient and primary care quality improvement, public reporting, and community awareness.
The coalition’s New Mexico Regional Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB), a statewide inpatient quality improvement collaborative which empowered nurses at the bedside and frontline staff to identify and test improvements, helped eight participating hospitals reduce the number of falls, falls with harm and pressure ulcers over an 18-month period. Many of the participating hospitals had consecutive months of zero falls and falls with harm. In addition, hospitals achieved an average 47-percent increase in patient satisfaction and an average 25-percent decrease in unit admission times.
Most recently, the coalition implemented an ambulatory quality improvement collaborative for primary care practices in the Albuquerque area. This unique program tested practice coaching in primary care practices to improve basic diabetes care. The participating practices saw improvement in their overall diabetes care, including checking blood pressure, blood sugar, tobacco use assessments and flu vaccinations.
In addition to these quality improvement programs, the coalition has published three annual public reports on its website (www.abqhealthcarequality.org) on medical group and hospital performance and conducted a community awareness radio campaign to help increase the community awareness about the differences between emergency care and urgent care.
“Over the next two years, we will continue to build on these successes as well as focus on testing new payment models and methods in our community to find new ways to pay for care increases health care quality and uses health care dollars more wisely,” said Montoya. “These efforts will help us towards the goal of achieving the ‘triple aim’ of better health, better care, and lower costs.”
AF4Q is designed to drive quality improvement by aligning key players in communities, and brings an unprecedented commitment of resources, expertise, and training to turn proven practices into real results. The New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality’s continued participation brings direct financial support and technical assistance and training from national experts, coordinated by the Center for Health Care Quality at The George Washington University, the national AF4Q program office.
Additional grant recipients include:
- Alliance for Health – Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Better Health Greater Cleveland – Cleveland
- California Center for Rural Policy – Arcata, Calif.
- Greater Detroit Area Health Council – Detroit
- Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati – Cincinnati
- Healthy Memphis Common Table – Memphis, Tenn.
- Healthy York County Coalition – York, Pa.
- Kansas City Quality Improvement Consortium – Kansas City, Mo.
- Maine Aligning Forces for Quality – Augusta, Maine
- Massachusetts Health Quality Partners – Boston
- Minnesota Community Measurement – Minneapolis
- Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation – Portland, Ore.
- Puget Sound Health Alliance – Seattle
- P2 Collaborative of Western New York – Buffalo, N.Y.
- Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality – Madison, Wis.
For more information about the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality and its work, visit www.abqhealthcarequality.org. For more information on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality initiative, visit www.rwjf.org/en/about-rwjf/program-areas/quality-equality.html.
The New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality is a collaborative project of local area health plans, hospitals, health care providers, consumers, insurers and employers interested in improving the quality of health care in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance, and Valencia counties. The coalition works with local and state stakeholders to improve the quality of care, improve health care efficiencies, and reduce health care costs. The New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality is located at and is partners with HealthInsight New Mexico, a non-profit health care organization which holds the AF4Q grant on behalf of the community. For more information, visit www.abqhealthcarequality.org.