NQF Endorses Population Health Measures 

OCT 23, 2012

CONTACT: Erin Weireter

NQF Endorses Population Health Measures

Washington, DC – the National Quality Forum (NQF) Board of Directors has endorsed five healthy lifestyle behaviors and broader population health measures, focused on community interventions that can improve health and well-being.

Population health is generally understood as a systems-level concept that describes health outcomes of a group of individuals. These outcomes are measured through a broad spectrum of public health, clinical care, socio-economic, and physical environmental determinants that function interdependently and cumulatively.

“Health outcomes are often dramatically impacted by social, environmental, and behavioral factors,” said Helen Burstin, MD, MPH, senior vice president for performance measures at NQF. “This set of measures begin to help us determine if public health interventions are effective in overcoming such factors, and will provide insight on how we can improve population health going forward.”

NQF has previously endorsed population-level measures, but this is the first endorsement project primarily focused on population-level performance measures. Phase I of the Population Health project endorsed measures addressing clinical preventive services and immunizations, while phase II sought to endorse healthy behaviors and broader population-level measures, including those that are able to assess social, economic, and environmental determinants of health and outcomes.

“It’s critical that the healthcare community be able to measure their efforts when it comes to improving the health and well-being of communities across the country,” said Paul Jarris, MD, MBA, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and co-chair of the Population Health Endorsement Maintenance Steering Committee. “These measures – having undergone rigorous review by a diverse panel of clinical and public health measurement and quality improvement experts – make that possible, and have the potential to make an impact on population health improvement efforts throughout the United States.”

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 population health portfolio.

NQF is a voluntary consensus standards-setting organization. Any party may request reconsideration of any of the five endorsed quality measures listed below by submitting an appeal no later than November 21 (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 

  • 1999: Late HIV Diagnosis (CDC)
  • 2020: Adult Current Smoking Prevalence (CDC)
  • 0421: Preventive care and screening: Body Mass Index (BMI) Screening and Follow-Up (CMS)
  • 0024: Weight Assessment and Counseling for Nutrition and Physical Activity for Children/Adolescents (NCQA)
  • 0029: Counseling on Physical Activity in Older Adults – a. Discussing Physical Activity, b. Advising Physical Activity (NCQA)

Get the details – what measures were endorsed, what gaps they filled, and where they can be used – with NQF’s Population Health Endorsement Summary. 

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.