Hospital executives, physicians and other provider representatives will get a chance to have their say about the direction of a public-private hospital quality reporting initiative in five "listening sessions" scheduled by the CMS beginning April 27 in Boston and continuing in four other cities through July.
The sessions, announced in the March 26 Federal Register, are intended to gather viewpoints of providers, consumers, payers and healthcare purchasers on how next to expand the set of performance measures adopted by the National Voluntary Hospital Reporting Initiative. The program was launched in December 2002 with a "starter set" of 10 measures of quality care in treating heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia.
Formal plans are "imminent" to phase in 12 more measures covering those three medical conditions as well as the use of antibiotics to prevent surgical infections, a spokesman for the Federation of American Hospitals said last week. The federation is among the private groups sponsoring the initiative. Those plans first came to light last month (March 22, p. 12).
Also on the quality initiative's schedule for the first time is an official date for hospitals to begin reporting results of patients' reactions to hospital care, according to a chart supplied by the federation. The schedule calls for data collection to begin in January 2005 and data to be displayed on a CMS Web site with the other medical-quality information in late fall of 2005. The CMS has not determined the final form of the patient-experience survey.
The first session in Boston will include a presentation on current CMS activities related to public reporting, a panel discussion and time for comments, questions and feedback. Registration is being handled by IPRO, the Medicare quality improvement organization for New York, at ipro.org or by phone at 800-852-3685, ext. 258.
Sessions will also be held in Chicago, Dallas, Orlando, Fla., and San Francisco. More detailed information will be presented in another Federal Register notice, but a CMS spokesman said the meetings will run through July.