NQF Endorses Cancer Measures 

AUG 10, 2012

CONTACT: Erin Weireter

NQF Endorses Cancer Measures

Washington, DC – The National Quality Forum (NQF) Board of Directors has endorsed 22 quality measures addressing cancer care.  They are focused on conditions such as leukemia, prostate cancer, and multiple myeloma, but also on issues that affect care delivery – including radiation dose limits, hospice readmissions, and care planning.    

“The National Cancer Institute estimates that half of men and one third of women in the United States will develop cancer in their lifetime,” said Laura J. Miller, FACHE, interim CEO of NQF. “Given this widespread impact, NQF is pleased to endorse a set of measures that will help cancer patients across the country receive safe, high-quality care.”

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the country, with diagnosis and treatment costing more than $260 billion per year. Despite progress in both prevention and treatment, cancer care is still often inconsistent or inappropriate. Studies have shown, for example, significant socioeconomic disparities in treatment and survival across a range of cancers.

“Cancer care is often complex, with many patients facing complicated treatment regimens, individualized therapies, and rapidly changing evidence for existing treatments,” said Stephen Lutz, MD, radiation oncologist at Blanchard Valley Regional Cancer Center and chair of the Cancer Steering Committee. “This measure set will help address those complexities and promote the delivery of high-quality cancer care.”    

The measures include those that have been endorsed for at least three years and are now undergoing NQF endorsement maintenance. The ongoing evaluation and updating of endorsed measures ensures they are current and relevant to NQF’s cancer portfolio. In all, 26 measures were evaluated against NQF’s endorsement criteria, with 22 receiving endorsement status.

Notably, five measures maintaining endorsement concentrate on palliative care, an increasingly important area for quality measurement and improvement. The measures deal with overtreatment of terminally ill patients, specifically addressing patient preferences and utilization of services at the end of life.

NQF is a voluntary consensus standards-setting organization. Any party may request reconsideration of any of the 22 endorsed quality measures listed below by submitting an appeal no later than September 10 (to submit an appeal, go to the NQF Measure Database). For an appeal to be considered, the notification must include information clearly demonstrating that the appellant has interests directly and materially affected by the NQF-endorsed recommendations and that the NQF decision has had (or will have) an adverse effect on those interests.

Endorsed Measures 

Hematology and Melanoma 

  • 0377: Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) and Acute Leukemias – Baseline Cytogenetic Testing Performed on Bone Marrow (AMA-PCPI)
  • 0378: Documentation of Iron Stores in Patients Receiving Erythropoietin Therapy (AMA-PCPI)
  • 0379: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) – Baseline Flow Cytometry (AMA-PCPI)
  • 0380: Multiple Myeloma – Treatment with Bisphosphonates (AMA-PCPI)
  • 0562: Overutilization of Imaging Studies in Melanoma (AMA-PCPI)
  • 0650: Melanoma Continuity of Care – Recall System (AMA-PCPI)


  • 0381: Oncology: Treatment Summary Communication – Radiation Oncology (AMA-PCPI)
  • 0382: Oncology: Radiation Dose Limits to Normal Tissues (AMA-PCPI)
  • 0383: Oncology: Plan of Care for Pain – Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology (paired with 0384) (AMA-PCPI)
  • 0384: Oncology: Pain Intensity Quantified – Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology (paired with 0383) (AMA-PCPI)
  • 0386: Oncology: Cancer Stage Documented (AMA-PCPI)
  • 1854: Barrett´s Esophagus (Eligible for Time-Limited Endorsement) (College of American Pathologists)

Prostate and Lung 

  • 0389: Prostate Cancer: Avoidance of Overuse Measure – Bone Scan for Staging Low-Risk Patients (AMA-PCPI)
  • 0390: Prostate Cancer: Adjuvant Hormonal Therapy for High-Risk Patients (AMA-PCPI)
  • 1790: Risk-Adjusted Morbidity and Mortality for Lung Resection for Lung Cancer (Society of Thoracic Surgeons)
  • 1853: Radical Prostatectomy Pathology Reporting (Eligible for Time-Limited Endorsement) (College of American Pathologists)


  • 0210: Proportion receiving chemotherapy in the last 14 days of life (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
  • 0211: Proportion with more than one emergency room visit in the last days of life (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
  • 0213: Proportion admitted to the ICU in the last 30 days of life (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
  • 0215: Proportion not admitted to hospice (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
  • 0216: Proportion admitted to hospice for less than 3 days (American Society for Clinical Oncology)
  • 1822: External Beam Radiotherapy for Bone Metastases (American Society for Radiation Oncology)

NQF operates under a three-part mission to improve the quality of American healthcare by:  

  • building consensus on national priorities and goals for performance improvement and working in partnership to achieve them;  
  • endorsing national consensus standards for measuring and publicly reporting on performance; and  
  • promoting the attainment of national goals through education and outreach programs.