This project will focus on the consensus-based endorsement, maintenance and harmonization of individual and composite musculoskeletal measures of process, outcomes and structure. NQF will solicit new measures inclusive of all aspects of musculoskeletal health for review and endorsement that address all populations, with an emphasis on disparate and vulnerable populations. Additional musculoskeletal domains identified by HHS prior to the call for measures will also be accommodated. This project will include maintenance review of the 26 NQF-endorsed measures and harmonization of endorsed musculoskeletal health measures. This project will also provide information about domains in which gaps in musculoskeletal care exist, in the context of the National Quality Strategy (NQS) priorities.
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are injuries or disorders, including inflammatory and degenerative disorders affecting the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage and supporting blood vessels, and disorders of the nerves, tendons, muscles and supporting structures of the upper and lower limbs, neck, and lower back that are caused, precipitated or exacerbated by sudden exertion or prolonged exposure to physical factors such as repetition, force, vibration, or awkward posture.1 MSDs are a leading cause of disability in the United States, with increasing prevalence and cost associated with musculoskeletal diseases in an aging population.2 In addition to the morbidity associated with musculoskeletal disorders, there has been a significant increase in the total costs associated with treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. Low back pain is among the most common reasons for visits to physicians and a major reason for work-related disability. Because of the burden of these disorders, there is a critical need for nationally recognized musculoskeletal care measures.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has previously contracted with the National Quality Forum (NQF) to conduct musculoskeletal measure endorsement projects. As of 2011, these projects yielded 26 NQF-endorsed measures which are due for maintenance. These measures primarily relate to care of low back pain, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and pain management.
A multi-stakeholder Standing Committee will be established to evaluate newly submitted measures and measures undergoing maintenance review and make recommendations for which measures should be endorsed as national consensus standards. This Committee will work to identify and endorse new performance measures for accountability and quality improvement that specifically address areas within musculoskeletal conditions. Measures concerning outcomes, treatments, diagnostic studies, interventions, or procedures associated with musculoskeletal disorders.
Measures will be considered for NQF endorsement as national voluntary consensus standards. Consensus on the recommendations developed through NQF’s formal Consensus Development Process (CDP, Version 1.9). This project involves the active participation of representatives from across the spectrum of healthcare stakeholders and will be guided by a Standing Committee.
This project is supported under a contract provided by the Department of Health and Human Services.
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For more information, please contact Kathryn Streeter, at 202-783-1300 or via email at email@example.com.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Musculoskeletal Disorders, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/msd. Last Accessed, June 2013.
- United States Bone and Joint Initiative: The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States, Second Edition, Chapter 9. Rosemont, IL: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; 2011.