NQF Endorses Neurology Measures 

NOV 05, 2012

CONTACT: Erin Weireter

NQF Endorses Neurology Measures

Washington, DC – the National Quality Forum (NQF) Board of Directors has endorsed 14 measures addressing neurological care, specifically focused on stroke treatment and rehabilitation.

"Strokes can have a devastating impact on individuals and families, often leading to severe emotional distress, extensive therapy and treatment, and significant healthcare costs," said Helen Burstin, MD, MPH, senior vice president for performance measures at NQF. "Given our aging population and their subsequent increased risk for stroke, these measures are important tools to help ensure patients receive the highest quality stroke care possible."

Neurological conditions and injuries affect millions of Americans each year, taking a tremendous toll on patients, families, and caregivers, and costing billions of dollars in treatment, rehabilitation, and lost or reduced earnings. Strokes specifically were the fourth leading cause of death in the United States in recent years, as well as a leading cause of disability. 1Healthcare costs for stroke-related morbidity was more than $73 billion in 2010.2 

"The healthcare community has made great strides in stroke care and treatment, helping patients – including myself – across the country heal and return to their daily lives," said David Knowlton, MA, president and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute and co-chair of the Neurology Endorsement Maintenance Steering Committee. "As a patient, I saw firsthand how standardized measurement can affect patient outcomes. These measures will help providers measure, report on, and ultimately improve stroke care and quality of life."

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, "best in class," address gaps in existing measures, are synchronistic with national priorities, and enhance NQF's neurology portfolio. In all, 29 measures were evaluated against NQF's endorsement criteria, with 14, or 48 percent of measures reviewed, receiving endorsement status.

"These measures are an important part of the NQF portfolio," said David Tirschwell, MD, MSc, associate professor of neurology at the University Of Washington School Of Medicine in Seattle, medical co-director of TJC certified Stroke Center at Harborview Medical Center, and co-chair of the Neurology Endorsement Maintenance Steering Committee. "The diverse panel that reviewed these measures was focused on endorsing what was most tightly linked to improving patient outcomes, and only those that rise to the rigorous standards set by NQF."

NQF is a voluntary consensus standards-setting organization. Any party may request reconsideration of any of the 14 endorsed quality measures listed below by submitting an appeal no later than December 4 (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

  • 0240: Stroke and Stroke Rehabilitation: Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Prophylaxis for Ischemic Stroke or Intracranial Hemorrhage (AMA-PCPI)
  • 0241: Stroke and Stroke Rehabilitation: Anticoagulant Therapy Prescribed for Atrial Fibrillation at Discharge (AMA-PCPI)
  • 0243: Stroke and Stroke Rehabilitation: Screening for Dysphagia (AMA-PCPI)
  • 0244: Stroke and Stroke Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation Services Ordered (AMA-PCPI)
  • 0325: Stroke and Stroke Rehabilitation: Discharged on Antithrombotic Therapy (AMA-PCPI)
  • 0434: STK-01: Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Prophylaxis (The Joint Commission)
  • 0435: STK 02: Discharged on Antithrombotic Therapy (The Joint Commission)
  • 0436: STK-03: Anticoagulation Therapy for Atrial Fibrillation/Flutter (The Joint Commission)
  • 0437: STK 04: Thrombolytic Therapy (The Joint Commission)
  • 0438: STK 05: Antithrombotic Therapy By End of Hospital Day Two (The Joint Commission)
  • 0439: STK-06: Discharged on Statin Medication (The Joint Commission)
  • 0441: STK-10: Assessed for Rehabilitation (The Joint Commission)
  • 0467: Acute Stroke Mortality Rate (IQI 17) (AHRQ)
  • 1952: Time to Intravenous Thrombolytic Therapy (AHA/ASA)

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. 

1Centers for Disease Control. Available at www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/stroke.htm. American Stroke Association. Available at www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/About-Stroke_UCM_308529_SubHomePage.jsp. Last accessed February 2012.

2 American Stroke Association. Available at www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/Impact-of-Stroke_UCM_310728_Article.jsp. Last accessed February 2012. Centers for Disease Control. Available at www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/data_stats/alzheimers.htm. Last accessed February 2012.