Good with the bad
NQF group rates performance measures
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.