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NQF-Convened Group Provides Recommendation on Measures for Federal Healthcare Programs

February 6, 2014
by John DeGaspari
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Recommendations for filling measurement gaps and aligning measures

The Measurement Applications Partnership (MAP), a public-private group convened by the Washington, D.C.-based National Quality Forum, has released its third annual round of input to the Department of Health and Human Services on the use of performance measures in more than 20 federal programs. The report notes two areas of progress: identification of measures that fill acknowledged gaps and increase measure alignment.

On December 1 of last year, MAP received and began review of more than 230 measures under consideration for use in federal programs covering clinician, hospital, and post-acute care/long-term care settings. MAP ultimately supported or conditionally supported more than 80 percent of measures being evaluated for potential use in “gateway” pay-for-reporting programs that serve as a starting place for engaging providers in reporting and for gaining experience with new measures. It was more selective in recommending measures for use in “higher stakes” public reporting and pay-for-performance programs, supporting or conditionally supporting fewer than half of the measures being considered for those programs.

The report promotes alignment, or use of the same or related measures, as a strategy for accelerating improvement in priority areas, reducing duplicative data collection, and enhancing comparability and transparency of healthcare information. To date, at least 285 measures are in use across three or more HHS programs. MAP relied on its families of related measures and information about current measure use in various public and private sector programs to inform selection of measures that promote alignment. MAP also began work to identify a core set of measures for individual clinician reporting that would be applicable across clinician programs.

The report can be viewed here




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