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September 21, 2011

By Gary A. Puckrein, PhD

For Immediate Release

September 20, 2011 | WASHINGTON D.C.

National Minority Quality Forum Asks Administration to Abandon IPAB, Releases Five-Point Roadmap to a Consumer-Oriented Healthcare System

In response to the fundamentally flawed ideas that are imbedded in the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), the National Minority Quality Forum (The Forum) today asked the Obama Administration to abandon IPAB, and announced its five-point roadmap to a consumer-oriented healthcare system (CoHS) at

As a key provision of the health reform law, Congress created the 15-member IPAB, delegating to it the responsibility to develop specific proposals to contain the growth rate of Medicare spending if it is projected to exceed specific targets. CoHS will move America beyond such incremental cost-oriented reforms and drive it toward an integrated system of health services research, delivery and financing. These changes will improve healthcare outcomes and the overall health status of American’s increasingly diverse population. All of this will be accomplished with increased medical efficiency and delivery oversight.

According to Dr. Gary Puckrein, President and CEO of The Forum, “The American health services research, delivery and financing system has lost sight of the reason for its existence—maintaining and improving the health of American workers and their families, and by extension, the profitability and competitiveness of American business. Investment in the health of American workers, particularly in consideration of our increasing diversity, is the essential and most important component of American infrastructure that must not go unheeded. A consumer-oriented healthcare system is our future.” 

The Forum believes that American healthcare consumers should use their power to overcome the long-held, flawed credo that the best way to achieve financial advantage in the healthcare delivery system is to constrain consumer demand, cost-shift to patients, and slow the pace of innovation. That failed approach will perpetuate the unacceptably high rates of preventable morbidity and mortality in this country, continue to destroy the financial viability of middle class families and communities, and undermine any legitimate, long-term efforts to reduce the costs of health services.

The Forum defines CoHS as an integrated system of research, financing and delivery that relies on the purchasing power of consumers to support the systematic, expeditious discovery of medical care to improve quality of life. Additionally, CoHS promotes appropriate consumption of services to reduce the incidence of expensive, preventable medical events, including costly emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

The five key points of the roadmap are:

1. Transparency

Establish reporting mechanisms that allow consumers to easily discern the qualitative and quantitative performance of their health care financing and delivery system. 

2. CBO Scoring for Preventive Care

Change Congressional Budget Office scoring practices so that annual reductions in federal expenditures on health care that are the product of prevention initiatives are correctly scored as savings. Current methods are biased against preventive services and produce poor-quality medical care by limiting investments in prevention. 

3. Eliminate Preventable Hospitalizations

Reduce preventable hospitalizations by providing the right care at the right time. Healthcare costs can be slashed in the short and medium terms by eliminating costly emergency room visits and inpatient stays.

4. Prioritize Disease Treatment

Identify diseases that create the greatest demand on our medical resources and launch public/private initiatives to find incremental and curative therapies that can rapidly address these diseases, while lowering the cost of treatment. 

5. National Clinical Trial Network

Expedite the discovery process by launching a public/private partnership that will build an integrated, national network to ensure that researchers can quickly identify populations who share a common disease experience. This will facilitate timely, cost efficient recruitment into clinical trials. This network should be designed so that it streamlines FDA’s regulatory processes, accelerating the agency’s decision-making process and reducing the cost of innovation.

Visit to view the Five-Point Roadmap in its entirety. For additional information, please contact Gretchen C. Wartman, Vice President for Policy, at 202-223-7560 or


About The Forum

The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, non-partisan, independent research and education organization. The vision of NMQF is a health services research, delivery and financing system that provides quality and effective health services to the biodiverse American general population of the 21st century. NMQF helps assure that national and local quality improvement initiatives are informed by scientific evidence, and place a priority on the quality of care and patient outcomes in all populations.

Media Contact

Gretchen C. Wartman, VP Policy and Program | 202.223.7560