This March the federal government received an unusual suggestion from the National Quality Forum’s (NQF) Measure Applications Partnership (MAP). In MAP’s 2017 guidance to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),the organization recommended eliminating around 51 out of 240 of all federal quality metrics used to determine payment in seven federal healthcare programs. This is meant to make the requirements for providers more efficient and streamlined.
MAP’s job is to review the quality measures put out by NQF each year. however, it’s CMS’s job to decide which of those measures to use.
“We want to make sure we can take away measures that are adding burden but not value,” said Helen Burstin, MD, MPH, FACP, NQF’s chief scientific officer, in a call with reporters. “This is really just the start.”
Many in the healthcare field state that the 634 quality measures applicable to federal healthcare programs is putting an undue burden on providers. However, as the industry is switching between payments based on quality rather than volume, the need for quality metrics is apparent. MAP aims to work towards both ends by culling measures that are redundant or pointless.
The measures that MAP recommends eliminating come from several programs, such as the Prospective Payment System—Exempt Cancer Hospital Quality Reporting Program, the Ambulatory Surgery Center Quality Reporting Program, the Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Quality Reporting Program, and the Home Health Quality Reporting Program. It also recommends eliminating:
• Four out of 18 measures used in the End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program
• 13 out of 29 used in the Outpatient Quality Reporting Program
• Six out of 62 used in the Inpatient Quality Reporting Program