The longitudinal impact of Aligning Forces for Quality on measures of population health, quality and experience of care, and cost of care

Yunfeng Shi, Dennis P. Scanlon, Raymond Kang, Megan McHugh, Jessica Greene, Jon B. Christianson, Muriel Jean-Jacques, Yasmin Mahmud, Jeffrey A. Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To summarize the results from the quantitative analyses conducted during the summative evaluation of the Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) initiative.

STUDY DESIGN: Longitudinal design using linear difference-in-difference (DD) regression models with fixed effects. Outcomes were selected based on the AF4Q program logic model and organized according to the categories of the Triple Aim: improving population health, improving quality and experience of care, and reducing the cost of care.

DATA: Two primary data sources: the AF4Q Consumer Survey and the National Study of Physician Organizations (NSPO); and 4 secondary data sources: the Dartmouth Atlas Medicare claims database, the Truven Health MarketScan commercial claims database, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), and the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).

RESULTS: In total, 144 outcomes were analyzed, 27 were associated with improving population health, 87 were associated with improving care quality and experience, and 30 were associated with reducing the cost of care. Based on the estimated DD coefficients, there is no consistent evidence that AF4Q regions, over the life of the program, showed greater improvement in these measures compared with the rest of the United States. For less than 12% of outcomes (17/144), the AF4Q initiative was associated with a significant positive impact (P ≤.05), although the magnitude of the impact was often small. Among the remaining outcomes, with some exceptions, similarly improving trends were observed in both AF4Q and non-AF4Q areas over the period of intervention. Conclusion and Policy and Practice Implications: Our quantitative findings, which suggest that the AF4Q initiative had less impact than expected, are potentially due to the numerous other efforts to improve healthcare across the United States, including regions outside the AF4Q program over the same period of time. The limited overall impact may also be due to the variability in the "dose" of the interventions across AF4Q regions. However, these results should not be interpreted as a conclusive statement about the AF4Q initiative. More nuanced discussions of the implementation of interventions in the specific AF4Q programmatic areas and their potential success (or lack thereof) in the participating communities are included in other articles in this supplement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)s373-s381
JournalThe American journal of managed care
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy


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