New Heart Care Alliance Sets Aggressive Goals to Improve Patient Care

The National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) has joined with 28 leading healthcare organizations to improve hospital care in the United States to ensure that all cardiac patients receive care consistent with nationally accepted standards. The new coalition—the Alliance for Cardiac Care Excellence (ACE) — includes leaders from the American Hospital Association, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, the Heart Failure Society of America, and nearly two dozen other organizations. ACE members will help bridge the gap between clinical procedures and treatments proven to be most effective and the care many adult cardiac patients actually receive. “ACE coalition members are committed to working together so that hospital practice aligns with scientific studies. Translation — the right care at the right time, every time for cardiac patients,” said Mark B. McClellan. M.D., Ph.D., administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at the June kick-off. “In the US, close to two million people annually receive treatment in the hospital for either heart attacks or heart failure, and we want to ensure that those patients receive the best care possible.” Nationally accepted standards of care have been defined in recent years as a set of quality measures endorsed by the National Quality Forum. These measures include making sure that all patients arriving at the hospital with symptoms of a heart attack, for example, receive aspirin, beta blockers and other recommended treatments at the right time. The coalition will begin its focus on care measured by seven basic quality measures. Today, only about 85 percent of eligible adult cardiac patients treated in U.S. acute care hospitals receive such care.