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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

The National Health Plan Collaborative: Overview of Its Origins, Accomplishments, and Lessons Learned

Final Report

The National Health Plan Collaborative (NHPC) was formed in 2004 to bring large national and regional health plans together to reduce racial and ethnic disparities. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) cosponsored the NHPC. The NHPC's goal was to provide a forum for health plans to better understand disparities and share strategies and best practices for measuring disparities and developing interventions to reduce them. In the 5 years after the NHPC's inception, most participating firms evolved from having little experience collecting race and ethnicity data and measuring quality of care by race and ethnicity, to embracing and institutionalizing disparities measurement and reduction activities. This report summarizes findings from the evaluation of the NHPC.

This report evaluates a program of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). It was prepared by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. under Contract Number 233-02-0086.

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By Erin Fries Taylor and Marsha Gold


Overview of Key Points
I. Description of the National Health Plan Collaborative
II. Purposes of the Evaluation
III. Accomplishments
   Accomplishments in Phase I
   Accomplishments in Phase II
IV. Accomplishments on Targeted Activities
   Data Collection and Standardization
   Access to Language Services
V. Disseminating Phase II Work Through the NHPC Toolkit
   Perspectives on the Toolkit
   Dissemination Activities
   Use of the Toolkit
VI. Lessons Learned
   Collaboration With Large Firms Requires Understanding Their Organizational Context
   Setting Specific Goals Can Help Collaborative Focus, But Flexibility Also Is Valuable
   Reaching Out to Other Stakeholders Might Have Brought Opportunities
   Collection of Race/Ethnicity Data Among NHPC Firms Increased Substantially
   The Public/Private Partnership of the NHPC Differed From Others AHRQ Has Undertaken
   Challenges and Opportunities Lie Ahead
   AHRQ's Investment in NHPC Resulted in Important Organizational Changes Within Participating Firms
Appendix A: Timeline of NHPC Activities

AHRQ Publication No. 09-0078-EF
Current as of September 2009

Internet Citation:

The National Health Plan Collaborative: Overview of Its Origins, Accomplishments, and Lessons Learned. Final Report. AHRQ Publication No. 09-0078-EF. September 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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