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Social Risk Trial Final Report 

Date of Publication:
JUL 2017
Associated Project:
SES Trial Period
There is increasing evidence that social risk factors can influence a person’s health and health outcomes, leading to the question of whether performance measures should account for social risk factors to ensure fair and accurate comparisons of providers. However, some stakeholders have raised concerns that adjusting measures for social risk could mask disparities in care. To study this issue, NQF undertook a two-year trial period during which it temporarily changed its policy prohibiting the inclusion of social risk factors in NQF-endorsed measures to allow social risk factors to be considered. The trial period has illuminated the feasibility of adjusting measures for social risk, with 17 measures endorsed by NQF for factors such as a person’s level of education. In this report, NQF reviews the findings of its initiative and highlights areas that need further exploration to provide a better understanding of how social risk factors can influence health and health outcomes.