Government, Health Care Groups Come Together on Set of Quality Measures

February 19, 2016

This week, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and a broad array of health care groups reached a consensus on a set of measures they plan to put into practice on how to gauge physician quality in seven medical areas, from primary care to the treatment of patients with cancer or AIDS.  Currently, there are over 1,900 quality indicators in the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse.  The agreement marks the first step in a concerted effort to harmonize the hundreds of disparate, overlapping and even conflicting quality measures providers must currently track and report.  CMS, health care provider groups, and consumer advocates worked through the Core Quality Measures Collaborative to identify core sets of quality measures for:

  • Primary Care, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Obstetrics and Gynecology;
  • HIV, Hepatitis C, Medical Oncology and Orthopedics; and
  • Accountable Care Organizations, Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH), and Primary Care.
Importantly, the ratings are designed to lessen the paperwork burden on physicians, who typically face different requests for quality data from each insurer, and, from a patient's vantage point, uniform quality ratings are intended to help compare and choose high quality doctors.