The National Quality Forum released a draft set of about 50 standards for measuring and improving the quality of care in outpatient settings. The 107-page document covers seven clinical areas: asthma and respiratory conditions; bone diseases; depression and behavioral health; heart disease; hypertension; prenatal care; and preventive care, immunizations and screenings. Many of the recommended measures come from the CMS' Doctor's Office Quality project, the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the American Medical Association's Physician Performance Measurement Set. The NQF will accept comments from the general public through May 16 and from NQF members through May 23.
Members can expect to begin voting on a revised draft by the first week of June, if there are no unexpected delays, an NQF spokesman said. The 23-member NQF board then will vote on final consensus standards. The standards effort is a project of the NQF, the NCQA and the AMA's Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement. Read the draft set. -- by Joseph Conn