The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has been working to streamline the quality measures it requires across its programs, with a goal of aligning the measures in its meaningful use and value-based purchasing initiatives. A provision of the Affordable Care Act has created a formal process to ensure CMS receives annual public review and comment on the measures it proposes.
The act required the Department of Health and Human Services institute a federal “pre‐rulemaking process” for selecting quality and efficiency measures for its qualifying programs. Under the new process, HHS must:
- Make publicly available, by December 1 each year, a list of measures it is considering for its qualifying programs, including measures suggested by the public
- Provide the opportunity for multi‐stakeholder groups to review and provide input by February 1
The review and input process is being conducted by the Measure Applications Partnership, or MAP, a public-private partnership convened by the National Quality Forum. Throughout December and January, MAP will convene meetings to review the measures list. These meetings are open to the public and will include a public comment period immediately prior to the release of the February 1 report.
Should HHS select for its programs any quality or efficiency measure that is not endorsed by the National Quality Forum it must publish its rationale for doing so. It must also publish an assessment of the measures’ impact every three years at minimum. The first report is due March 1, 2012.
There are 366 measures related to 23 programs on the list that HHS delivered to MAP last month. More than three-quarter relate to two programs: the Physician Quality Reporting System and the meaningful use program account for 284 of the measures.