More than 59 million Americans—approximately 19 percent of the U.S. population—live in rural areas. Data indicate that individuals who live in rural parts of the country may be more disadvantaged overall than those in urban or suburban areas, particularly with respect to sociodemographic factors, health status and behaviors, and access to the healthcare delivery system.
Healthcare providers serving in rural areas face many challenges in reporting quality measurement data and implementing care improvement efforts to address the needs of their populations. Some rural providers may have relatively few patients or relatively few patients who have certain conditions or receive certain types of services. This low case-volume challenge can affect the reliability, validity, and utility of performance metrics that might otherwise be available to rural providers for measuring care quality. Moreover, due to factors such as geographic isolation or small practice size, rural providers may have limited time, staff, and infrastructure for internal quality improvement efforts and effective participation in quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs.
NQF will continue its efforts to improve the health and healthcare of those who live in rural areas of the U.S. by once again convening the MAP Rural Health Advisory Group.
About the Project
In this project, the MAP Rural Health Advisory Group, with oversight from the MAP Coordinating Committee, will continue to provide recommendations on issues related to healthcare performance measurement challenges for the rural population. Key activities under this project will include:
- Participation by the MAP Rural Health Advisory Group in the CMS pre-rulemaking process by providing feedback on clinician specific measures included on the 2019 Measures Under Consideration (MUC) list;
- Presentation of the Rural Health Advisory Group’s most recent recommendations to the MAP Hospital, Clinician, and PAC/LTC Workgroups; and
Additionally, the MAP Rural Health Advisory Group will participate in a separate, 35-month project that is divided into three tasks. In the first task, the MAP Rural Health Advisory Group will identify high-priority rural-relevant measures with minimum case requirements for future testing of the statistical approaches that were recommended in the 2019 MAP Rural Health Technical Expert Panel (TEP) report. This task will span 12 months. Information regarding the subsequent tasks within this 35-month project will be shared closer to their start dates.
NQF will reconvene the MAP Rural Health Advisory Group to participate in the 2019-2020 pre-rulemaking process for the clinician, hospital, and PAC/LTC settings. Additionally, NQF will lead the MAP Rural Health Advisory Group in identifying performance measures that address high-priority issues for Congress and the administration but are difficult for rural healthcare providers to report due to the low case-volume challenges they often face.
This project is funded under NQF’s contract with the Department of Health and Human Services.
For more information, contact the project team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.