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President's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry

March 26, 1997

President Clinton Announces Advisory Commission
on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry

Today, President Clinton announced the members of the Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry. The President called on the Commission to develop a "Consumer Bill of Rights" to promote and assure patient protections and health care quality. The Advisory Commission was created through an Executive Order signed by President Clinton in September, 1996 to build on the Clinton Administration's commitment to improve the quality of the nation's health care system. The 32-member Commission will review rapid changes in the health care financing and delivery systems and make recommendations, where appropriate, on how best to preserve and improve the quality of the nation's health care system.

Representing Broad-Based Interests and Expertise

Co-chaired by the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Labor, the Advisory Commission has broad-based representation from consumers, businesses, labor, health care providers, insurers, and quality and financing experts. The Advisory Commission members have vast expertise on a wide range of health issues including the unique challenges facing rural and urban communities, children, women, older Americans, minorities, people with disabilities, mental illness and AIDS. There are also members with extensive backgrounds in privacy rights and ethics. Advisory Commission members come from all parts of the country and reflect America's diverse population.

Focusing on Consumer Rights and Quality

The President charged the Commission with developing a "Consumer Bill of Rights" to ensure that patients have adequate appeals and grievance processes. In developing the "Consumer Bill of Rights," the Commission will study and make recommendations on consumer protections, quality, and the availability and treatment of services. Using the best research to measure real outcomes and consumer satisfaction across all providers of health care, the Commission will work to give Americans the tools they need to measure and compare health care quality. It will submit a final report by March 30, 1998. The Vice President will review the final report before it is submitted to the President. In addition, the Advisory Commission will play a consultative role should relevant legislative initiatives move through the Congress prior to the due date of the final report.

Building on the Administration's Commitment to Health Care Quality

The Clinton Administration has a long history of strong support for consumer protection in health plans, including executive actions and legislative initiatives barring gag rules; limiting physician incentive arrangements; increasing choice and consumer information; and requiring health plans to allow women to stay in the hospital for 48 hours after a mastectomy or after the delivery of a child. The President has called for this Commission to develop a broader understanding of the numerous issues facing a rapidly evolving health care delivery system and to help build consensus on ways to assure and improve quality health care.


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Last Revised: Friday, June 19, 1998

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