Commonwealth Fund Commission Recommends Changes to National Health System

Ensuring that everyone in the United States has health insurance is essential, but it is not enough to drive the kind of reform the health system needs, a new report from the Commonwealth Fund's Commission on a High Performance Health System finds.

The report, A High Performance Health System for the United States: An Ambitious Agenda for the Next President (36 pages, PDF), recommends several healthcare agenda items for the next U.S. president to consider, including investing in the implementation of an electronic information system within five years, changing the way doctors and other healthcare providers are paid, and better organizing and coordinating care delivery. The report also outlines a five-year plan for containing costs and better organizing the U.S. healthcare delivery system. Specifically, the commissioners call for affordable coverage for all, better alignment of incentives and cost controls, higher quality and efficiency, and accountable leadership.

"This report outlines how essential it is that we pursue improvements in healthcare quality and efficiency at the same time as we pursue universal coverage," said Dr. James Mongan, commission chair and CEO of Partners Healthcare System in Boston. "We can not and should not hold either of these facets of reform hostage while we wait for the other to happen."