Expert Panel Review of Aligning Forces for Quality

In 2006, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) launched Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) as its signature effort to improve the quality of health care in targeted communities across America. This 10-year, $300 million initiative has supported the development of multi-stakeholder organizations and coordinated efforts across these alliances to improve their communities’ health care and, ultimately, their health.

The program’s chief objective is that “targeted communities will improve and sustain high-quality, patient-centered, equitable care by 2015. Now, six years later, these 16 alliances are led by teams comprised of those who give care, get care, and pay for care, working together to improve health care quality, reduce disparities, and control health care costs.

With the program scheduled to end in 2015, RWJF’s Quality/Equality team asked four experts to review AF4Q’s accomplishments and provide guidance on how RWJF can best refine the program for its final phase. This overview outlines the panel’s three chief recommendations, and the framework RWJF and the Aligning Forces national program office (NPO) developed to address the panel’s recommendations.

The panel recommended RWJF do the following:

  • Help alliances demonstrate their work’s impact on health care costs to make the business case for local stakeholders to sustain their efforts beyond 2015.
  • Allow more flexibility in the AF4Q program requirements to help alliances emphasize parts of the program that are most strategic for them.
  • Share early results and lessons learned from the alliances with local and national policy-makers and health care leaders.