NQF Releases Measure Applications Partnership Recommendations for Federal Healthcare Programs 

FEB 01, 2022

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NQF Releases Measure Applications Partnership Recommendations for Federal Healthcare Programs

Washington, DC – Today, the Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) submitted recommendations (XLSX) to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for performance measures used in federal healthcare programs affecting more than 60 million Americans. These recommendations aim to improve the quality, safety, and value of U.S. healthcare through federal healthcare payment and public reporting programs. They also reflect prevailing priorities such as advancing health equity as well as improving maternal health outcomes and behavioral healthcare.

MAP is a public-private partnership of diverse stakeholders convened annually by the National Quality Forum (NQF) on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to achieve consensus on the recommended measures appropriate for public reporting and performance-based payment. The recommendations shared with HHS today are the result of an intensive and transparent two-month review process that began in December 2021. This process included two public commenting periods and deliberations by MAP expert workgroups on rural health, health equity, clinician, hospital, post-acute, and long-term care. The MAP Coordinating Committee synthesized all input before submitting the final recommendations to HHS.

Of the 44 measures under consideration this year, MAP expressed support for 10 measures and conditional support for 32 measures. Of the two measures that MAP did not support, it provided potential mitigation for one measure. Important themes from this cycle’s review of measures under consideration include:

  • Advancing health equity – MAP expressed enthusiasm for the focus on health equity and encouraged consideration of health equity measures that show a connection to outcomes.
  • Promoting person-centered care – MAP commented on the continuing need for more patient-reported outcome measures that reflect the person’s experience along with the family/caregiver perspective.
  • Improving measure alignment – MAP noted a desire to evaluate measure performance across programs and settings.
  • Supporting risk adjustment and stratification of measures – MAP emphasized the importance of measures that include risk adjustment and stratification enabling data results to be shared with accountable facilities to improve care and outcomes.

NQF brings together representatives of Quality Measurement, Research, and Improvement, Purchasers, Providers, Public/Community Health Agencies, Health Professionals, Health Plans, Consumers and Suppliers in convening the MAP. The forum’s careful balance of diverse stakeholder interests ensures that the federal government receives varied and thoughtful input on performance measure selection. MAP involves approximately 150 healthcare leaders and experts representing nearly 90 private-sector organizations, as well as liaisons from seven federal agencies. In this year’s review, NQF also convened the first MAP Health Equity Advisory Group to provide input on the measures under consideration with the goal of reducing health disparities closely linked with social determinants of health.

MAP will publish detailed final reports in early March to officially conclude this cycle. A nomination period for the MAP expert workgroups is also slated to begin in the spring to kick off the 2022-2023 cycle. 



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.