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Department of Health and Human Services
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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2004

HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

Statement by Tommy G. Thompson Secretary of Health and Human Services On the Formation of the National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care

HHS applauds the creation of the National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care and commends its members for their service in an important effort -- improving the quality of long-term care in America. The National Quality Forum (NQF) under the direction of Ken Kizer is also to be commended for its leadership in helping to form the commission. With the first of the Baby Boomer generation quickly approaching retirement age, it is critical that we address the challenges presented by the need to enhance the quality of long-term care.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has worked closely with NQF over the last three years in its ongoing initiatives to improve quality in nursing homes, home health agencies and hospitals. We look forward to the work of the National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care and offer our help as it pursues its agenda.

Over the last two years, HHS has launched a series of quality improvement initiatives focusing on the nursing home, home health care and hospital sectors. The initiatives are designed to improve the quality of care received by recipients through the public reporting of common indicators that can be used to judge the quality of the facility and the care provided. NQF has been a partner in all three initiatives.

In June, HHS and its partner, the National Governors Association, announced plans for a five state Long-Term Care Awareness Campaign, "Own Your Future," aimed at increasing public awareness of long-term care options and the importance of making long-term care plans.

At HHS, we remain committed to developing the initiatives and innovations that will provide quality long-term care that best meets the needs of our families. And we appreciate the private-sector partnership in this endeavor.

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Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.

Last Revised: October 14, 2004

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