The National Quality Forum has begun its yearly review of performance measures the CMS is considering for its programs.
NQF's Measure Applications Partnership, which is a coalition of about 135 healthcare stakeholders charged with overseeing the review process, has 39 measures to consider. In line with its efforts to reduce regulatory burden, the CMS said it chose the 39 measures based on its Meaningful Measures framework. The measures had "to fill a quality and efficiency measurement need and were assessed for alignment across CMS programs when applicable," the CMS said in its annual Measures under Consideration report.
Of the 39 measures, most — 21 — are for consideration under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System as part of MACRA. The majority of the measures are process while 13 address costs. Just two are patient reported outcome measures even though the industry overwhelmingly supports their further development and widespread use.
In its 2018 review, NQF's Measure Applications Partnership was critical of the CMS' tactics. The coalition noted that while it's important to alleviate clinicians' reporting burden, "some of the most meaningful measures may have a high measurement burden." The CMS followed through in August with its plan to remove 18 quality measures from the inpatient prospective payment system.
"NQF is committed to promoting measures that advance care, while also recognizing leading measure gaps that must be addressed," said Dr. Shantanu Agrawal, CEO of NQF in a statement.
The NQF's Measure Applications Partnership will have its first meeting Dec. 10 to go over measures under consideration for the post-acute and long-term care sectors. Another meeting will be held Dec. 11 to review measures for hospital programs. The coalition will submit its recommendations to HHS by February 1, 2019, and publish its reports in February and March 2019.