NCHC Writer
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Novermber 19, 1997

Patricia Q. Schoeni

Washington, D.C. (November 19, 1997) — Today, the President’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry included in their consumer Bill of Rights provisions that the quality of health care should be based on evidence of appropriateness and efficacy and should be available to all when they need care.

“Both of these provisions address issues that are essential in developing solutions to the problems that face our health care system,” said The Honorable Robert D. Ray, member of the Quality Commission and Co-Chair of the National Coalition on Health Care. “There is no more fundamental consumer right than to be assured that care is evidence based, efficiently delivered and available to all who need it, when they need it. We believe that the Commission has made a lasting contribution to the public good by incorporating these sound, balanced and fundamental elements as key parts of their recommendations to the President,” he added.

The National Coalition on Health Care recently released a study on quality that was conducted for the Coalition by a group of researchers at the respected RAND Corporation. The findings of the study indicate that, although a trillion dollars a year are spent on health care, many people are receiving more care than they need, many are receiving less than they need, and many are receiving the wrong kind of care. Because of serious quality problems in our health care system, hundreds of millions of dollars are being wasted. Millions of Americans are injured and tens of thousands die unnecessarily each year.

“It should not be a matter of when, where, or if, you receive care that makes the difference between whether you live or die,” said Henry E. Simmons, M.D., President of the National Coalition on Health Care.

The study was conducted with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The National Coalition on Health Care is the nation’s largest and most broadly representative health care alliance working to improve America’s health care. The Coalition is a nonpartisan organization comprised of almost 100 member organizations representing 100 million Americans in large and small businesses, labor unions, and the nation’s consumer organizations, religious faiths and primary health care providers.

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