Tuesday, 24 May 2016 17:35

CMS Unveils Quality Measure Development Plan

Written by Mark Spivey

m spiveyThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published the final version of its highly anticipated Quality Measure Development Plan, according to a recent blog post by CMS Center for Clinical Standards & Quality Director Kate Goodrich.

Labeling it a “strategic framework for clinician quality measurement development to support the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and advanced alternative payment models (APMs),” Goodrich noted that the Plan was developed as part of a larger, legislation-driven initiative through which data and quality will be emphasized as never before throughout the nation’s healthcare industry.

“CMS aims to drive improvement in our national healthcare system through the use of quality measures and periodic assessment of the impact of such measurement. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) established payment incentives for physicians and other clinicians based on quality, rather than quantity, of care,” Goodrich wrote. “We recently released the proposed regulation to implement these payment incentives … (and the) Quality Measure Development Plan is an essential aspect of this transition, which will provide the foundation for building and implementing a measure portfolio to support the quality payment programs under MACRA.”

The Plan’s genesis incorporated feedback from 60 individuals and 150 healthcare organizations nationwide, Goodrich also noted. Specifically, she said, these commenters:

  • Expressed support for the strategic approach of the Plan.
  • Favored CMS’s intent to engage clinicians, medical societies, and other stakeholders more broadly in measure identification, selection, and development processes for MIPS and APMs.
  • Identified current measurement gaps and proposed priorities for measure development that are directly applicable to their specialties.
  • Urged CMS to partner with patients, families, and caregivers, and recommended a model for engaging them in measure development.
  • Approved of the approach envisioned by the National Testing Collaborative and the National Quality Forum (NQF) Incubator to promote early engagement of stakeholders in measure development and testing.
  • Contributed insights into the integral roles of their clinical professions or practices in the U.S. healthcare delivery system.

Taking these comments and suggestions into consideration, Goodrich said, the Plan was developed with an eye toward identification of known measurement and performance gaps – and prioritization of approaches to close those gaps by developing, adopting, and refining quality measures in six quality domains: clinical care, safety, care coordination, patient and caregiver experience, population health and prevention, and affordable care.

“Partnering with frontline clinicians and professional societies (was) a key consideration to reduce the administrative burden of quality measurement and ensure its relevance to clinical practices … (and) partnering with patients and caregivers (was) a key consideration for having the voice of the patient, family, and/or caregiver incorporated throughout measure development,” Goodrich wrote. “(It’s about) increased focus and coordination with federal agencies and other stakeholders to lessen duplication of effort and promote person-centered healthcare.”

The Plan can be reviewed online in its entirety at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/Value-Based-Programs/MACRA-MIPS-and-APMs/Final-MDP.pdf.

About the Author

Mark Spivey is a national correspondent for VBPmonitor.com and a 10-year veteran of the journalism industry, having written for four New Jersey newspapers from 2003 into 2013.

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