Good with the bad

NQF group rates per­for­mance mea­sures

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK IN HEALTHCARE - Mau­reen McK­in­ney

Some fed­eral per­for­mance mea­sures are ready for prime time, but most need more work or should be elim­i­nated al­to­gether, ac­cord­ing to an ex­pert group con­vened by the National Qual­ity Fo­rum to pro­vide feed­back to HHS.

In a 78-page re­port is­sued Jan. 11, the group, known as the Mea­sure­ment Ap­pli­ca­tion Part­ner­ship, gave de­tailed rec­om­men­da­tions on 368 fed­eral rule­mak­ing mea­sures cur­rently un­der con­sid­er­a­tion for 2012.

The group eval­u­ated each mea­sure us­ing eight se­lec­tion cri­te­ria. For in­stance, the fi­nal set of mea­sures had to in­clude con­sid­er­a­tions for health dis­par­i­ties and it needed to ad­dress high-im­pact con­di­tions within each fed­eral pro­gram’s tar­get pop­u­la­tion.

MAP’S frame­work also re­lies on HHS’ National Qual­ity Strat­egy, which em­pha­sizes a three-part goal of pop­u­la­tion health, high-qual­ity health­care and af­ford­abil­ity, said Dr. Thomas Valuck, NQF’S se­nior vice pres­i­dent for strate­gic part­ner­ships.

The cri­te­ria also re­quire that the fi­nal mea­sure set pro­motes par­si­mony and takes into ac­count the time and re­sources it takes for providers to par­tic­i­pate in

“MAP is not af­ter more mea­sures, nec­es­sar­ily, but bet­ter mea­sures.”

—Dr. Thomas Valuck, National Qual­ity Fo­rum

qual­ity-reporting pro­grams. “MAP is not af­ter more mea­sures, nec­es­sar­ily, but bet­ter mea­sures,” Valuck said.

In the re­port, MAP in­di­cated its sup­port for 40% of the mea­sures on the list, in­clud­ing mea­sures of op­ti­mal di­a­betes care and hep­ati­tis B vac­ci­na­tions. Roughly 15% of HHS’ mea­sures were deemed by MAP to need more de­vel­op­ment or test­ing be­fore use in rule­mak­ing. The re­main­ing 45% should not be in­cluded in fed­eral pro­grams, MAP said.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the group’s work “rep­re­sents the first time a pub­licpri­vate part­ner­ship has worked to­gether in ad­vance of fed­eral health­care rule­mak­ing to pro­vide up­stream in­put on the op­ti­mal mea­sures for use in par­tic­u­lar pro­grams.”

MAP’S mem­bers in­clude rep­re­sen­ta­tives from in­dus­try groups, med­i­cal so­ci­eties and qual­ity im­prove­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions. It’s that mix of stake­hold­ers that fosters dis­cus­sion, Valuck said.

In­clud­ing a wide range of groups in MAP also pro­motes align­ment and makes it more likely that the mea­sure­ment cri­te­ria will be used in fu­ture pri­vate-sec­tor per­for­mance ini­tia­tives, he said.

The pre-rule­mak­ing re­port is avail­able for pub­lic com­ment through Jan. 20. When com­ments are in, the NQF will write a fi­nal re­port, which will be posted Feb. 1 and trans­mit­ted di­rectly to HHS, Valuck said.

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