NQF, CMS Partner to Convene MAP Health Equity Advisory Group and Conduct Measure Set Reviews 

JUL 14, 2021

CONTACT: Proof Strategies

NQF, CMS Partner to Convene MAP Health Equity Advisory Group and Conduct Measure Set Reviews
Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) to ensure perspectives on health inequities and disparities are adequately considered as part of its process by convening a MAP Health Equity Advisory Group

Washington, DC – Achieving health equity, eliminating disparities, and improving health outcomes for all are long-standing goals of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the National Quality Forum (NQF). With funding from CMS, NQF continues its focus on these priorities through new work incorporating health equity into the Measure Applications Partnership (MAP). The MAP convenes multistakeholder groups to provide pre-rulemaking input to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on quality and efficiency measures under consideration (MUCs) for use in federal programs. The new MAP Health Equity Advisory Group will provide input on MUCs with the goal of identifying health disparity gaps in quality measurement and reducing health differences closely linked with social determinants of health. In addition, the MAP will begin to provide input on existing measures in CMS programs through comprehensive measure set reviews this fall.

“Equity is woven throughout NQF’s five-year Strategic Plan. Advancing this cause is not only a strategic priority, but also an organizational and moral imperative. We must maintain our focus on advancing the quality of care for every person while addressing the needs of the historically underserved and marginalized. In partnership with CMS, we are pleased to convene this new Advisory Group to deliberate as part of the MAP process and to work with diverse stakeholders from across our country to eradicate the behaviors and barriers to equitable care,” said Chris Queram, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, National Quality Forum.

“CMS is committed to ensuring equity for all. We are delighted that the new MAP Health Equity Advisory Group will provide multistakeholder input into equity and highlight the importance of considering equity in the MAP recommendations,” said Lee Fleisher, MD, CMS Chief Medical Officer & Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality.

The nomination period to be considered for the MAP Health Equity Advisory Group is currently open. Organizations and individuals selected will serve up to three years and are eligible for reappointment to the Advisory Group. NQF will appoint no more than 25 members for this convening. A variety of stakeholders are encouraged to apply, including patients and consumers, patient advocacy organizations, purchasers, providers, health professionals, health plans, suppliers, community and public health agencies, and healthcare quality experts. Nominees should have expertise in health disparities and quality measurement; this includes but is not limited to experience with quality of care related to age, sex, income, race, ethnicity, disability, language, literacy, sexual orientation, gender identity, geographic location, and the intersection of these factors. This work will culminate in a recommendations report to be shared with HHS and the public in early 2022. All nominations must be submitted via the nomination submission form by 6:00PM ET Thursday, July 29, 2021.

Additionally, for the 2021-2022 MAP cycle, NQF will collaborate with CMS and the MAP Coordinating Committee to define a process for Measure Set Review (MSR). Initiated by CMS, the goal of this effort is to offer a holistic review of quality measures with input from diverse multistakeholder groups. This cycle will focus on developing and piloting a process for review and creating criteria for evaluating measures within federal programs.

“In looking at how quality measures work together and being thoughtful to how they can improve healthcare, we have an incredible opportunity to ease burden while continuing to inform and educate all those who are invested and committed to advancing measurement science. We are all witnessing the burden associated with the increased number of performance measures. The MAP is a great starting point to turn the next chapter in our quest for quality,” added Mr. Queram.

NQF will produce a final report that includes the final recommendations and rationale for measure removal from federal programs. For 2021, this report will reflect the input of the MAP Coordinating Committee. In 2022, the report will also include input from the setting-specific MAP Workgroups and the Rural Health and Health Equity Advisory Groups.


About National Quality Forum
The National Quality Forum (NQF) works with members of the healthcare community to drive measurable health improvements together. NQF is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization that gives all healthcare stakeholders a voice in advancing quality measures and improvement strategies that lead to better outcomes and greater value. Learn more at www.qualityforum.org.