CQO Movement Frequently Asked Questions

What is the "Intersection of Cost, Quality and Outcomes”?

The “Intersection of Cost, Quality, and Outcomes (CQO)” refers to a more holistic view of the correlation between cost (all costs associated with delivering patient care and supporting the care environment), quality (patient-centered care aimed at achieving the best possible clinical outcomes), and outcomes (financial reimbursement driven by outstanding clinical care at the appropriate costs) as opposed to viewing each independently.

Why is AHRMM forging the path to the nexus of Cost, Quality, and Outcomes?

The health care landscape has changed dramatically due to health care reform, declining reimbursements and changing payment policies, all against a backdrop of a challenging economy. Health care executives increasingly recognize that their organization’s success relies on their ability to deliver quality care at a more affordable cost and that the performance and effectiveness of the supply chain will play an even more critical role in meeting those objectives. With new demands come new opportunities and there has never been a better time than now to focus on the intersection of cost, quality and outcomes by re-inventing supply chain strategy.

AHRMM and its Board determined that the association must broaden its educational focus beyond cost (an area that AHRMM has and will continue to cover extensively) to include the correlation with quality and outcomes. Looking at cost in isolation is not effective nor realistic, and similarly, looking at quality in isolation does not work either. In this new model, everyone and everything will be driving toward patient outcomes, which depend upon cost and quality and will drive reimbursement.

What is the purpose of the CQO Movement?

AHRMM launched the CQO Movement to guide the health care supply chain profession through this changing health care environment.

The purpose is to develop the future state of the health care supply chain profession by determining what new skills and expertise supply chain professionals will need and creating a framework to guide decision-making.

This initiative is so imperative that AHRMM has incorporated it into all facets of the organization.

How will AHRMM implement the CQO Movement?

AHRMM is building the training and education framework to assist supply chain professionals cultivate the skills and knowledge they will need in the post-reform era.

AHRMM launched the CQO Movement in January 2013 with an introductory Cost, Quality, Outcomes webinar and an online course on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) - Goals and Components, Provider Reimbursement, and Health System Changes.

A second online course, Supply Chain: Owning the Intersection of Cost, Quality, and Outcomes, explains the importance of health care supply chain professionals becoming further educated on the intersection of cost, quality, and outcomes to effectively support sustainability and strategic growth in their facilities.

Finally, the online course, Embracing the Cost, Quality, and Outcomes Movement - the Future of Health care Supply Chain, describes the need for a comprehensive strategy to minimizing cost while maximizing quality patient outcomes. It also provides two case studies, which illustrate the importance of CQO.

What does this mean for the future of health care supply chain?

Supply chain professionals need to keep pace with the changes, challenges, and opportunities presented by health reform. By developing strategic responses to enhance hospital bottom lines and improve patient care, supply chain professionals can continue to elevate the supply chain profession to where the industry needs it to be. 

In order to manage the intersection of cost, quality, and outcomes, today’s supply chain professionals must be able to:

  • Decipher and leverage complex analytics
  • Understand the impact various payment policies – including accountable care, bundled payments, value-based purchasing and other programs – will have on reimbursement
  • Create discussion, build consensus, and, when appropriate, motivate change around clinical preference items
  • Anticipate and swiftly respond to disruptions in the supply chain – like drug shortages – so patient care is not compromised
  • Understand the impact of all medical supplies, devices, and pharmaceuticals on patient outcomes and reimbursement

Becoming the health care experts in the intersection of cost, quality, and outcomes is essential to advancing the profession in the new health care landscape. Supply chain is particularly well-suited to assume a leadership role in this area, as it already occupies a cross-disciplinary role within hospitals and health systems by working across departments, administration, and clinical hierarchies to maximize efficiency and value, as well as helping hospital finance teams weigh revenue per procedure against procedure expenses to achieve overall financial targets. In fact, one could argue that no other hospital function crosses institutional silos as frequently or as thoroughly as supply chain.

We hope the above FAQs answer your questions but if not please contact us at ahrmm@aha.org.


Join the CQO Movement

Visit www.ahrmm.org/CQO to learn how you can benefit by joining the CQO Movement.


What is CQO?

AHRMM launched the Cost, Quality, and Outcomes (CQO) Movement in January 2013 to guide the healthcare supply chain professionals through sweeping changes in the healthcare landscape brought by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Read more


Sponsor the CQO Movement

For a complete list of CQO Sponsorship benefits, please email AHRMM at ahrmm@aha.org.