NQF will convene a Technical
Expert Panel (TEP) of diverse multistakeholder experts to oversee a review of
measures and concepts related to medical opioid use; and opioid use disorder
prevention, treatment, and recovery. This activity will further identify
measure gaps and priorities relevant to the United States opioid overdose
epidemic and the broad health care quality challenges that surround it.
Opioid-related overdose fatalities have increased
markedly over the last ten years in epidemic proportions. In 2017, there were
over 47,000 U.S. deaths attributable to opioid use, both prescription and
illicit.1 These alarming numbers eclipse the total mortality related to other
substantial mortality/morbidity crises recently experienced by the U.S.
including peak automobile accidents, the Vietnam War, HIV/AIDS, and gun
violence.2 Moreover, an increasing proportion of those opioid deaths are tied to heroin use.3,4
Quality measurement related to opioid use is a key component to holding care providers, payers, and policy-makers accountable as direct purveyors or indirect sponsors of the best possible care regarding pain management and substance use disorder treatment and prevention.
About the Project
Pursuant to the passage of the federal “Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act” (P.L. 115-271), NQF will assemble an expert TEP towards consensus decisions that yield a scholarly and practical environmental scan regarding the current state of opioid-related healthcare quality measures. The TEP will use the scan to identify gaps and provide recommendations on the inclusion of measures in various federal programs and future measure development efforts regarding challenges posed by opioid use in the U.S.
The TEP will:
- Provide guidance on the environmental scan of current measures and measure concepts related to opioids and opioid use disorders;
- Identify and prioritize measure gaps in quality measurement to inform future measure development efforts; and
- Provide recommendations on the use of opioids and opioid use disorder measures in federal programs.
Over the 12-month period of performance, NQF will conduct an environmental scan to identify measures and gaps, and develop an evidence-based priority list of recommendations as a guide to best address the U.S. opioid epidemic. An expert TEP will provide input on the environmental scan, using relevant elements of the NQF’s Consensus Development process to receive and review comments; however, the process will not involve voting or the endorsement of any product. Throughout this project, NQF will solicit input from NQF membership and public stakeholders at key points in the project.
project is funded under NQF’s contract with the Department of Health and Human
Services. For information about the availability of auxiliary aids and services
for NQF’s federally funded projects, please visit
Related NQF Work
For more information, please contact the
project team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Scholl L, Seth P,
Kariisa M, Wilson N, Baldwin G (2019). Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths
– United States, 2013-2017. MMWR Morb
Mortal Wkly Rep; 67:1419-1427. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm675152e1
2 Saloner B and Barry C (2018). Ending the Opioid
Epidemic Requires a Historic Investment in Medication-Assisted Treatment. J of Policy Anal and Mgt; 431-438. DOI:
3Barry C (2018). Fentanyl and the Evolving Opioid Epidemic: What Strategies Should Policy Makers Consider? Psychiatric Services; 69:100-103. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ps.201700235
4Saloner B, McGinty E, Beletsky L, Bluthenthal R, Beyrer C, Botticelli M, and Sherman S (2018). A Public Health Strategy for the Opioid Crisis. Public Health Reports; 133 (Suppl) 24S-34S, DOI: 10.1177/0033354918793627