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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Strengthening the Consumer Voice in Managed Care: III. The Philadelphia Consumer Satisfaction Team
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Experts on health care quality improvement put consumers at the heart of the improvement process. Quality cannot be evaluated and enhanced in a significant way without extensive involvement of consumers. But how should we define quality? And how should consumer perspectives be brought into the process?

This column is the third in a series on strengthening the consumer voice in managed care. The first column challenged private-sector programs to emulate public-sector practices for involving consumers in making health plans more accountable for the reasonableness of their policies and practices. The second suggested ways to change the standards established by the National Committee for Quality Assurance to foster more robust consumer involvement. In this column we describe the Philadelphia Consumer Satisfaction Team and lessons learned from this innovative program about enhancing quality and accountability. (Authors)
Psychiatric Services