NQF’s Aligned Innovation Initiative to Advance Next Generation Measures of Outcomes for Behavioral Health and Maternity Care 

APR 13, 2023

CONTACT: Zachary Brousseau

NQF’s Aligned Innovation Initiative to Advance Next Generation Measures of Outcomes for Behavioral Health and Maternity Care
11 healthcare stakeholders join with NQF to accelerate development of quality measures that matter most to patients and clinicians and fill high priority gaps


Washington, DCAligned Innovation, a multistakeholder initiative from the National Quality Forum (NQF), will advance the next generation of quality measures for behavioral health and maternal health outcomes, said NQF President & CEO Dana Gelb Safran, ScD, speaking at the recent ViVE digital health conference. The initiative’s coalition of healthcare stakeholders from the public and private sector, which began its work in October 2022, recently completed its initial phases of work and agreed on several next generation measure concepts that it will seek to develop. 

The new measures prioritized by the Coalition – and informed by patients and clinicians – include outcomes for mild to moderate behavioral health conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety), and reducing severe maternal morbidity (SMM).  SMM refers to severe complications of labor and delivery that can have long-lasting and even fatal consequences. 


NQF’s Aligned Innovation initiative is designed to accelerate development of healthcare quality measures that are most meaningful to patients and clinicians, fill high-priority measure gaps, and are outcome-oriented. The program is also differentiated by a rapid-cycle measure development process that can be completed in 24 months, compared to much longer timeframes of six years or more that are typical of traditional measure developmentFor every new measure introduced, Coalition members intend to retire at least two measures from their existing measurement and accountability programs, in order to support reduced burden of measurement while moving toward more outcomes-oriented programs. 


Participating organizations include public and private sector payers, purchasers, and providers from markets throughout the US. In addition, the Multistakeholder Advisory Council providing ongoing input to the Coalition draws from a broad array of federal agencies, health information technology companies, healthcare accreditors, consumer advocacy organizations, and professional societies. 


Despite a decade of consensus that we need a next generation of measures that are outcome-oriented and patient-centered, little progress has been made,” said Gelb Safran. “The Aligned Innovation approach accelerates development of measures representing the outcomes that patients and clinicians say matter most, and that come out of the pipeline ready for broad adoption and use owing to the unique multistakeholder process.” 


Having identified priorities for new outcome measure development in areas that represent significant U.S. population health crises, the next phases of work will focus on specifying, testing, and validating the measures on a large scaleThose phases of work are estimated to take approximately 18 months. 


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.