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Trying to Control Quality Measures

By December 14, 2018December 16th, 2018Commentary

Providers have raised very legitimate concerns about the burdens placed upon them in regard to quality reporting.  The burdens involve time and expense, but quality reporting is far from perfect and providers can suffer reputational harm from imperfect quality measuring systems.  Recognizing the problem, a number of organizations, including America’s Health Insurance Plans and CMS, have cooperated to try to come up with a common set of measures and to control the burdensome nature of the process of creating and reporting on so-called quality.   (NQF Site)   The coalition claims its goals were to select high-value, high-impact measures that are evidence-based measures that are meaningful and reduce variability across payers.  Can you hear me belch loudly and rudely, which is my basic comment.  A nice idea, but lets be honest, bureaucratic organizations aren’t really capable of doing anything in this manner.  So the result is eight sets of measures, one for ACOs, patient-centered medical homes and primary care and one each for cardiology, GI, HIV/Hepatitis C, medical oncology, ob/gyn, orthopedics and pediatrics.  If I were behavioral health I would feel pretty left out.  So lets just take the first one, for ACOs etc.  It runs a mere 13 pages.  And remember this is just the description, there will be all kinds of technical specifications for how to actually collect and report the data, which then has to get embedded in software.  And by my count, there are only 21 measures, with several sub-measures built-in.  But wait, there are 20 more areas listed for future development.  Nice job of cutting this down to something that it is easy to understand for consumers.  And I am sure providers will find this much easier to handle.  Someone needs to do a comprehensive cost benefit analysis regarding quality reporting and see if we are getting any better actual health of patients that justifies the total burden placed on the system.


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