Federal Legislation

Shared Decision Making: Federal Health Law Reform Activities

Patient-centered care and patient engagement are critical components of a range of health care delivery system reform initiatives at the federal level. These include programs created in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as well as the HITECH Act, which was enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, that serve as down-payments on comprehensive health reform, and private initiatives such as National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) efforts to certify patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs). In the instances of the ACA and the HITECH Act, shared decision making is explicitly referenced as part of the program requirements. Even where not explicitly mentioned however, there may be roles for shared decision making in numerous programs aimed at creating a more patient-centered system of care.