The National Quality Forum has completed the first year of a four-year contract with HHS, but it's still too early to determine how successful the not-for-profit quality organization will be in its new role, according to a July 14 report from the Government Accountability Office.
As mandated by the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, HHS selected the NQF in January 2009 to perform five functions related to healthcare quality measurement, including endorsing and maintaining quality measures and promoting the use of electronic health records.
The NQF has begun work on all of the duties outlined in the Medicare improvements act, according to the report. For instance, to spur the development and use of EHRs, the forum has started implementing the Quality Data Set, a framework for standardizing EHR data. But subsequent annual performance and cost reports—including the second report, due in January 2012—will reveal more about how the organization is actually faring, according to the GAO. In its first contract year, the NQF reported $6.5 million in costs and fixed fees to HHS.