The work of the Consensus Standards Approval Committee (CSAC) focuses on the approval of proposed consensus standards and the ongoing enhancement of NQF's Consensus Development Process. Members of the CSAC possess breadth and depth of expertise and are drawn from a diverse set of healthcare stakeholders. Some committee members possess specific expertise in measure development, application, and reporting.
Convocations of the CSAC
The CSAC holds three in-person meetings annually and convenes regularly by conference call. All convocations of the CSAC are open to NQF Members and the public. At each CSAC meeting, audience members have the opportunity to comment on the candidate standards under consideration. Information about each CSAC meeting is available on the NQF website, including the meeting's agenda and materials and the physical location or dial-in information.
Charge to the CSAC
The CSAC reviews the recommendations of Steering Committees and the results of NQF Member voting periods. After detailed review of a candidate standard, the CSAC determines if consensus has been reached across the various NQF Member Councils. They seek further input from Council Leaders if there is a lack of consensus. On some occasions, the CSAC may also request a second round of Member voting on a particular candidate standard or set of standards. The CSAC can grant full endorsement, time-limited endorsement, or deny endorsement of a candidate standard.
The CSAC also serves in an advisory capacity to the Board of Directors and NQF management on ongoing enhancements to the Consensus Development Process and emerging issues in performance measurement.
Time-Limited Endorsement for Performance Measures
On a very limited basis, the CSAC may decide that a candidate measure should be endorsed time-limited. This allows the NQF Board of Directors to make an endorsement before field testing is completed when a measure otherwise meets or exceeds all other evaluation criteria. Measure stewards must complete testing within 12 months if granted time-limited endorsement. The CSAC may remove the time limitation if adequate field testing results are provided before the initial one-year, time-limited endorsement period expires; then the measure is evaluated again at the end of its third year of endorsement.
After one year of time-limited endorsement measures stewards whose measures received time-limited endorsement in 2009 or 2010 may request a 12 month extension to complete measure testing. If the steward selects this option they must return two sets of specifications and testing results within 12 months: 1) specifications and results that run off the original data source, including paper medical records or clinical attestation using CPT-II coding and 2) specifications and testing results on an electronic platform.
At the end of the 12-month extension NQF will undertake a full maintenance review of the measure.
Measure stewards and developers may not request that a performance measure be considered for time-limited endorsement. This designation is made by the CSAC in most cases because a measure is determined to be urgently needed by the healthcare industry. Time-limited endorsement is not granted if a measure is complex (i.e. composite or requires risk-adjustment).
Read NQF’s Time-Limited Endorsement Policy and the 2010 Addendum.
Notifications of CSAC Decisions
All of the CSAC’s decisions regarding a candidate standard or set of standards are posted on the NQF website. In addition, all of the CSAC’s decisions are forwarded to the NQF Board of Directors for ratification.