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CMS to Fund Outside Measure Developers for Quality Payment Program

March 7, 2018
by David Raths
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Priorities include patient-reported outcome measures and care coordination measures

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to offer up to $30 million in grant funding over three years for the development and expansion of quality measures for use in the Quality Payment Program.

CMS is seeking to partner with clinical specialty societies, clinical professional organizations, patient advocacy organizations, educational institutions, independent research organizations, and health systems, in developing, improving, updating, and expanding quality measures for the QPP.

The cooperative agreements will allow CMS to collaborate with stakeholders to address topics such as: clinician engagement, burden minimization, consumer-informed decisions, critical measure gaps, quality measure alignment, consumer-informed decisions, clinician engagement, and efficient data collection that minimizes provider burden.

The agreements prioritize the development of outcome measures, including patient-reported outcome and functional status measures; patient experience measures; care coordination measures; and measures of appropriate use of services, including measures of overuse.

The priority measures developed will be aligned with the CMS Quality Measure Development Plan, which provides a strategy for filling clinician and specialty area measure gaps and for recommendations to close these gaps in order to support the Quality Payment Program, and identifies the following initial priority areas for measure development: Clinical Care, Safety, Care Coordination, Patient and Caregiver Experience, Population Health and Prevention, and Affordable Care.

The gap areas include, but not limited to: orthopedic surgery, pathology, radiology, mental health and substance use conditions, oncology, palliative care and emergency medicine.

More broadly than the CMS Quality Measure Development Plan, which is specific for the Quality Payment Program, CMS measures work is guided by the Meaningful Measurement framework, which identifies the highest priorities for quality measurement and improvement. The Meaningful Measure Areas serve as the connectors between CMS goals under development and individual measures/initiatives that demonstrate how high-quality outcomes for Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP beneficiaries are being achieved. They are concrete quality topics that reflect core issues that are most vital to high quality care and better patient outcomes.

For more information, locate the ‘Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) Funding Opportunity: Measure Development for the Quality Payment Program’ by searching the title or Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number, 93.986 on




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