Top health plans and providers in California announced Friday that they have joined an effort to use a unified, standard set of quality performance measures for accountable care organization reporting.
The initiative is intended to ease the administrative burden for clinicians who must report a vast array of quality data for participation in ACOs run by different private payers.
"One of the biggest challenges of measure sets is there are so many of them ... what we try to do is find those areas where standardization would actually improve performance results and relieve burden " said Dr. Jeffrey Rideout, CEO of the Integrated Healthcare Association, an organization that represents providers and payers and spearheaded the initiative along with the Pacific Business Group on Health, a not-for-profit that represents employers.
Health plans that have agreed to use the measurement set for their California ACOs are Aetna, Anthem, the California Blues, and Health Net. Providers that will report the measurement set include Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Stanford Health Care, Sutter Health and UC Davis Health.
The set currently includes 18 measures but will eventually rise to around 35, Rideout said. About 75% of the measures overlap with America's Health Insurance Plans measurement set with the CMS for ACOs. Some of the measures include breast cancer and colorectal cancer screening, use of imaging studies for low back pain and total cost of care. He expects the additional measures will focus on outcomes.
The initiative will also enable providers to more easily benchmark their performance with each other. The data can be shared with providers after it is de-identified if it's part of their contractual agreements.
"With upwards of 20% of consumers now using ACOs, we need a common yardstick to measure and benchmark ACO performance if we are going to improve quality and keep care affordable," said David Lansky, CEO of Pacific Business Group on Health.
The ACO measurement and benchmarking initiative will launch in 2018.