FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUL 23, 2014
Erin Reese, NQF
NQF Board Approves Trial Period to Test Impact of Risk Adjustment of Performance Measures for Sociodemographic Factors
Washington, DC - The National Quality Forum’s (NQF) Board of Directors overwhelmingly ratified today a robust trial for a defined period that will assess the impact and implications of risk adjusting relevant quality measures for sociodemographic factors, prior to making a permanent change to NQF policy.
Sociodemographic factors can be socioeconomic, e.g., income, education, and occupation, and demographic, e.g., race, ethnicity, and primary language. Growing evidence shows that sociodemographic factors may influence patient outcomes, which has implications for comparative performance measurement used in pay-for-performance programs. NQF examined this issue with funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The trial period is a recommendation of the Consensus Standards Approval Committee (CSAC) following its review of the NQF Expert Panel’s report Risk Adjustment for Socioeconomic Status and Other Sociodemographic Factors (PDF). The CSAC is a standing advisory committee to the NQF Board focused on performance measurement.
During the trial period, clinically and sociodemographically adjusted measures may be endorsed by NQF. NQF will develop further details regarding the trial period, including its duration, measure submission requirements, and the evaluation objectives necessary to inform future NQF policy.
The Board also ratified the CSAC recommendation to empanel a new standing Disparities Committee, whose role would include assistance with the trial period and its evaluation.
At the Board meeting, CMS acknowledged its interest in working with NQF and other stakeholders on implementing the trial.
“I am very proud of NQF’s work to assemble such a prestigious panel of experts, thoroughly review the science, and implement a process that brings a diverse array of individuals and interests to consensus on such an extremely complex and important issue,” said Christine Cassel, NQF president and CEO. “This effort to better understand the impact of sociodemographic factors has importantly informed the national discussion. No other organization but NQF could have done this work.”
View NQF’s April 29 statement and learn more about the project.