While much of the attention this week from the Trump administration's executive order on transparency focused on prices, there's also a section of it that calls for alignment of quality measures across all federal healthcare programs. Provider stakeholders and quality researchers support the effort but say it will be a heavy lift.
Tucked within the executive order, the administration notes that HHS, the Defense Department and the Veterans Affairs Department in the next six months will develop a strategy, called the Health Quality Roadmap, that will detail plans to consolidate quality measures publicly reported across Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, the health insurance marketplace, the Military Health System and the VA health system. Additionally, the roadmap will include plans to eliminate "low-value or counterproductive measures" from quality programs.
Provider stakeholder groups overwhelmingly support the order. They argue it will help consumers make better healthcare decisions while at the same time aligning safety and quality goals across the industry, likely spurring more innovation and improvement.
"By having a common measurement set we will identify places where the VA and DOD facilities are really outstanding and be able to learn from them and adopt some of those strategies to provide better care," said Nancy Foster, vice president for quality and patient safety policy at the American Hospital Association. "Anytime you add a large number of hospitals to a program you have this richness of information coming into the system that can help us all get better."
Ambulatory Surgery Center Association CEO Bill Prentice said his organization has been advocating for alignment on quality measures across the industry for years. Ambulatory surgery centers publicly report to the CMS different measures than are required of hospitals and nursing homes.
"There needs to be a breakdown of the silos between the different quality reporting programs to make it easier for patients to compare quality across settings," he said.