CMS releases 32 quality measures under consideration for 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is considering 32 new measures that have the potential to drive quality improvement across several care settings, including hospitals, physician practices and dialysis facilities.

The list (PDF download) of “measures under consideration” is now in the hands of the National Quality Forum, which will solicit feedback from providers, patients, families and commercial payers.

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Once finalized, the measures are ultimately meant to help patients choose the hospital, nursing home or clinician that is best for them and help providers deliver the highest quality of care across all setting, wrote Kate Goodrich, M.D., director, Center for Clinical Standards & Quality, chief medical officer at CMS, in a blog post.

This year, she said, CMS is taking a new approach to coordinate implementation of meaningful quality measures that are focused on the most critical areas for improvement, while also reducing the burden of quality reporting for all providers so they can spend more time with their patients.

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The agency originally considered 184 measures, she said, but narrowed the list to 32 that focus on CMS’ goals of high-quality healthcare and meaningful outcomes for patients, while minimizing burden. Roughly 40% of the measures on the list for consideration are outcome-based, Goodrich said, and include patient-reported outcome measures, such as change in functional status after total knee replacement surgery. The list also includes eight proposed episode-based cost measures, including simple pneumonia with hospitalization.

The proposed measures are open for public comment through Dec. 7.  The National Quality Forum’s Measure Application Partnership will then send its measure recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services by Feb. 1, 2018 and plans to publish its reports in February and March next year.