Research from the Institute of Medicine shows that racial and ethnic minorities often receive lower quality care than their white counterparts, even after controlling for factors such as insurance coverage, socioeconomic status, and comorbidities. Such disparities are exacerbated by additional factors. Racial and ethnic minorities have poorer health status in general, face more barriers to care, and are more likely to have poor health literacy.

Eliminating healthcare disparities is integral to advancing quality improvement efforts throughout the healthcare system. NQF is working to advance measurement of disparities across settings and populations by analyzing the effectiveness of quality measures already in place and identifying gaps.

Related NQF Work

  • NEW! Home and Community-Based Services Quality
    This project will develop a conceptual framework and perform an environmental scan to address performance measure gaps in home and community-based services to enhance the quality of community living.
  • NEW! Rural Health
    Under contract with HHS, this project will allow NQF—through a multistakeholder, collaborative process—to provide recommendations to HHS regarding performance measurement issues for rural and low-volume providers.
  • Healthcare Disparities and Cultural Competency Measures Project
    In August 2012, NQF endorsed 12 measures focused on healthcare disparities and culturally competent care for racial and ethnic minority populations. These measures are the first endorsed by NQF that specifically address healthcare disparities and cultural competency. A commissioned paper on measurement concepts for healthcare disparities, completed in September 2011, served as the foundation for measure development in the field.
    Press Release | Endorsement Summary
  • MAP Report: Measuring Healthcare Quality for the Dual Eligible Beneficiary Population
    The diverse dual eligible population includes some of the sickest and most vulnerable individuals covered by either Medicare or Medicaid. Rapid improvement in caring for these beneficiaries would in some ways represent the perfect “bull’s-eye” of achieving the National Quality Strategy goals of healthier people, better care, and more affordable care. Performance measures are central to understanding our progress in improving quality. In this report, the Measure Applications Partnership outlines a vision for high-quality care that seeks to address the fragmented and episodic nature of the care the dual eligible population receives.

NQF Resources

The Field Guide is an online resource designed to help you easily access NQF resources.   

Find Measures

Use NQF's Quality Positioning System (QPS) to find measures related to Affordable Care.

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Measure Applications Partnership (MAP)

MAP is the first group of its kind to provide upstream, pre-rulemaking input to the federal government on the selection of measures.

Learn about MAP