NQF’s Measure Applications Partnership Emphasizes Implementation of Measures to Empower Consumers and Generate Meaningful Information for Providers 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APR 05, 2019

NQF’s Measure Applications Partnership Emphasizes Implementation of Measures to Empower Consumers and Generate Meaningful Information for Providers


Washington, DC
—The National Quality Forum’s (NQF) Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) submitted recommendations (XLSX) to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for 39 standardized performance measures under consideration for use in federal healthcare programs. The MAP also recommended measures produce meaningful information to patients, clinicians, and providers and help empower patients to be informed healthcare consumers.

“Performance measures need to promote patient-centered care and align with their goals,” said Elisa Munthali, MPH, Senior Vice President of Quality Measurement, “MAP’s guidance promotes the use of meaningful, impactful, and scientifically sound measures in CMS quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs to help patients get the highest quality care.

Specifically, MAP made the following recommendations:

  • 31 measures were conditionally supported, meaning MAP supports implementation of the measure as specified and noted conditions or modifications to address, ideally prior to implementation;
  • 6 measures were not supported with potential for mitigation, reflecting support of the measure concepts and noting the need for further testing or potential changes to the measures to ensure that they are scientifically sound;
  • 2 measures were not supported due to concerns of the attribution model and redundancies with other measures under consideration.

NQF’s final reports for hospital and post-acute settings and clinician programs include considerations on potential ways to improve the programs and the measures used in them.

MAP emphasizes the need to ensure measures in federal programs provide important information relevant to consumers and their families. In its report on considerations for measures in hospital programs, MAP suggests that CMS promote alignment of measures across care settings. Providers are performing a growing number of surgeries and/or procedures across the various settings that traditionally occurred in the inpatient setting (e.g. hospital operating room). MAP recognized that patients and their families might face challenges in distinguishing between inpatient and outpatient services while making informed choices about their care. Additionally, MAP emphasized a need for measures that promote patient- and family-centered care and suggests measures should be aligned with patient goals and preferences.

MAP’s report on considerations for measures in clinician programs notes the importance of ensuring appropriate attribution, the assigning of patients and their outcomes to the appropriate clinician, for patients. Patients want to understand who is responsible for their care, and many want a say in determining which individual or group of clinicians is responsible for their care. Moreover, measures that are not appropriately attributed can diminish the value of measurement for both clinicians and patients.

In its report on considerations for measures in use in post-acute care (PAC) and long-term care (LTC) programs, MAP suggests that CMS focus future measurement efforts on improving care transitions. MAP highlighted that patients who receive care from PAC and LTC providers frequently transition between sites of care and improving care coordination and the quality of care transitions is essential to improving care.

NQF has convened MAP annually since 2011 bringing together more than 135 healthcare leaders and experts from over 90 private- and public-sector organizations to provide recommendations on the high-impact measures that will improve health and healthcare. MAP volunteers represent consumers, purchasers, employers, health plans, clinicians and providers, communities and states, suppliers, and federal agency liaisons.The MAP Coordinating Committee and its hospital, clinician, post-acute and long-term care workgroups, with input from its rural workgroup, identify measurement gaps across settings, prioritize high-impact measures, and recommend alignment of measures across federal programs. 

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The National Quality Forum (NQF) is the nation’s resource for healthcare quality measurement and improvement. NQF is an independent, not-for-profit, membership-based organization that brings healthcare stakeholders together to recommend quality measures and improvement strategies that reduce costs and help patients get better care. Learn more at www.qualityforum.org.