HHS issues 26 Medicaid quality measures

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has issued 26 Medicaid quality measures, which appeared in the Federal Register today.

The department started with almost 1,000 measures and reduced that to 51 measures for public comment. After receiving 43 more measures from public comments, HHS set the initial core set at 26, which covers prevention, chronic disease management and care coordination, among others.

"Although the numbers of measures was reduced, we believe that this initial core set still reflects the health care needs of Medicaid-eligible adults," HHS officials said in the notice. "In addition to reducing the size of the initial core set, to support States in collecting and reporting these measures, CMS will provide technical assistance as well as additional guidance and tools to increase the feasibility of voluntary reporting," they noted.

Now that HHS has identified the initial core measures for quality reporting, the department must develop a standardized reporting format by Jan. 1, 2013. It also will annually publish any changes to the measures.

"States that chose to collect the initial core set will be better positioned to measure their performance and develop action plans to achieve the three-part aims of better care, healthier people and affordable care as identified in HHS' National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care," according to HHS officials.

To learn more:
- read the notice in the Federal Register
- check out the final list (.pdf)