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AQA Invitational Meeting Summary

Opening Remarks

Carolyn Clancy, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Carolyn Clancy opened the meeting by looking back to the first AQA meeting in November 2004. After noting that attendance at that first meeting was considerably smaller, she remarked that the meeting had set in motion a very important process and that solving problems and getting to best solutions were impossible without speaking candidly.

Before turning over the microphone to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) officials, Clancy noted that a major impetus for convening the AQA was the expectation that lawmakers would be supporting efforts to align reimbursement with quality of care. Congress made that possibility into a solid reality when it enacted the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 late last year. She said that the new law presents both an opportunity and a challenge: The good news is that physicians will not face a pay cut and will receive incentives for reporting on quality; the bad news is that the rules must be promulgated by July 1, 2007.

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