Complete measurement tools, usage guidelines released publicly online
BLOOMINGTON, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A set of HealthPartners-designed measures for identifying healthcare cost drivers and opportunities to address them are the first of their kind to be endorsed by the National Quality Forum (NQF), following an announcement by the standards-setting body today.
As NQF-endorsed standards, the HealthPartners Total Cost of Care and Resource Use measures complement existing quality measures to provide a much-needed, common reference point supporting the development of accountable care organizations (ACOs) and payment reform models. Providers, insurers, government agencies, employers, consumers and other organizations can use the measures to manage costs, drive affordability and improve delivery of healthcare.
For example, the measures allow employers and consumers to compare healthcare providers based on value and cost over time. Providers can use the measures to better understand and manage cost drivers within their systems. Health plans can use them to drive development of new payment approaches and benefit designs while improving transparency of provider performance reporting. Using the measures, HealthPartners has outperformed Minnesota, regional and national risk-adjusted cost of care benchmarks for three straight years.
HealthPartners has released the full measurement methodology at healthpartners.com/tcoc. This in-depth information, available without charge, includes detailed scientific background, technical guidelines, reference guides, sample applications and guidance for adoption and use by other organizations.
“The endorsement of these measures comes at an important time in the development of ACOs and other healthcare reform structures at state and federal levels,” said Mary Brainerd, president and CEO, HealthPartners. “For an ACO to be truly ‘accountable,’ it needs an accurate and comprehensive measurement method behind it. We’re pleased to share the measures freely to support the important efforts of so many others who share our goals of making healthcare more efficient and affordable.”
In development and use for more than a decade, the HealthPartners measures are unique in that they simultaneously measure cost of care and resources used to provide that care. They are also unique in that they allow analysis of healthcare costs and resource use for entire populations as well as specific conditions within a population.
A partnership of hundreds of health care organizations, NQF reviews and develops consensus about measures warranting endorsement as “best in class.” The rigorous, one-year NQF review measured evidence of the importance and relevance of the measures, whether the measures deliver consistent and credible results, usability, and feasibility of implementation.
“Healthcare spending in the United States has been rising too fast and our dollars are not always put to the best use,” said Janet Corrigan, PhD, MBA, president and CEO of NQF. “We have an opportunity to create a higher-quality, lower-cost healthcare system; resource use measures can provide a more granular, detailed picture of what is driving costs and help providers more effectively manage cost and healthcare quality.”
NQF represents major private and public healthcare stakeholders including consumer organizations, health plans, providers, public and community health agencies, public and private purchasers, researchers, and improvement organizations.
Founded in 1957, the HealthPartners (www.healthpartners.com) family of health care companies serves more than 1.36 million medical and dental health plan members nationwide. It is the largest consumer-governed, nonprofit health care organization in the nation providing care, coverage, research and education to improve the health of members, patients and the community. HealthPartners is the top-ranked commercial health plan in Minnesota and is also ranked among the top 25 plans in the nation according to NCQA's Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2011-12 - private.
Jeff Shelman, 952-883-6198
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