NQF’s Measure Applications Partnership Recommends Measures for Use in 16 Federal Healthcare Programs 

FEB 01, 2016

CONTACT: Sofia Kosmetatos

NQF’s Measure Applications Partnership Recommends Measures for Use in 16 Federal Healthcare Programs

Washington, DC
– The National Quality Forum’s (NQF) Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) today submitted recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for approximately 140 performance measures under consideration for use in 16 federal healthcare programs. These measures are a critical building block for national pay-for-performance and public reporting programs, which affect 55 million Americans enrolled in Medicare and their healthcare providers.

This is the fifth consecutive year that MAP has submitted guidance to HHS on standardized performance measures. However, MAP has increasingly been asked to give early input on a significant number of measures that are in the early stages of development.

“The role of MAP continues to grow and evolve in reflection of the changing nature of our nation’s healthcare system and the increasing focus on using measurement to assess value,” said Helen Burstin, MD, MPH, NQF chief scientific officer. “MAP is recognized for the diverse perspectives and expertise it brings to the table from both the public and private sectors to come to consensus on recommended Medicare performance measures.”

MAP’s recommendations are the result of an intensive two-month process in which experts review measures under HHS consideration for use in clinician, hospital, and post-acute care/long-term care settings; assimilate public comments; and make recommendations about each measure. HHS then considers MAP recommendations in selecting measures for use in federal healthcare programs.

This year’s annual review of measures under consideration surfaced several important themes, including:

  • Identifying measurement gaps, or areas where more research and data are needed, particularly in areas such as mental/behavioral health, perinatal care, and pediatric health, among others;
  • Increasing alignment around key quality issues across federal programs to eliminate duplicative measurement;
  • Sharing information about measure use to identify trends in performance and ensure measures are working as intended;
  • Continuously assessing areas in which care coordination among various providers can improve health and healthcare quality as well as the patient experience.

Approximately 60 of the measures are proposed for use in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) program legislated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

Additional MAP reports on the themes and measurement issues in the post-acute and long-term care settings and hospital settings will be published on February 12. MAP reports on themes for clinician settings and cross-cutting issues will be published March 15.

MAP works in a transparent manner with a carefully balanced composition of participants representing all areas of healthcare, including consumers, purchasers, health plans, clinicians and providers, suppliers, accreditation and certification entities, communities and states, and the federal government, as well as subject matter experts for areas such as health IT and healthcare disparities. In total, more than 150 experts from 90 organizations who regularly use measures and measurement information participated in MAP discussions. The final measure recommendation report is now available on the MAP web page.


The National Quality Forum leads national collaboration to improve health and healthcare quality through measurement. Learn more at www.qualityforum.org.