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New Reports: Harnessing Measurement and Technology to Promote Equity, Reduce Burden

Today, the Core Quality Measures Collaborative (CQMC) released three new reports seeking to reduce disparities through measures of health equity, burden through digital measurement, and fragmentation through the voluntary alignment of measurement processes across payers.

The global pandemic revealed stark disparities in disease prevalence, hospitalization, and deaths in minority populations from COVID-19. In the first report, the CQMC shares the results of its review of the core measure sets that determined health care disparities likely exist in the results of all its recommended measures. To address these inequities, the CQMC recommended stratifying existing measures by patient demographic factors to confirm the presence of disparities in care.  Recognizing the need to focus improvement efforts to ensure success, the CQMC next sought to identify which measures should be prioritized for stratification. Finally, the CQMC identified existing measures that could be added to the core sets to promote health equity. Voluntary adoption of these measures across public and private payers could provide actionable information for clinicians to improve care and consumers to choose clinicians.

“Significant disparities exist in our nation’s health care system,” said Michelle Schreiber, M.D., Deputy Director for Quality and Value, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, CMS. “Identifying measures that assess disparities in health care is a critical step in making necessary, evidence-based changes to achieve a more equitable system.”

Given the resources required to measure clinical care, equity, and social drivers of health, one mechanism to streamline the process is the use of digital quality measurement. The second report outlines a framework and action steps for leveraging data captured in digital sources like electronic health records and exchanging it using interoperable standards to maximize efficiency and reduce burden.

Voluntary alignment of not just the performance measures used in public and private payer accountability programs but also the end-to-end processes of performance measurement – collection, transmission, standardization, aggregation, calculation, and dissemination of performance data – could dramatically reduce the burden on clinicians and payers as well as increase the utility of the results generated. The third report considers ways in which clinicians and payers could further collaborate on the broader measure model including existing best practices from around the country.

“Performance measurement is an essential tool to improving the quality, safety, and equity of health care,” said Danielle A. Lloyd, MPH, Senior Vice President of Private Market Innovations and Quality Initiatives at AHIP and CQMC Steering Committee Chair. “Harnessing technology will enable access to new data sources and create efficiencies that will permit the measurement of more facets of care and social factors impacting health while reducing the resources required.” 

The CQMC is a public-private partnership founded by AHIP and CMS that is convened by the National Quality Forum (NQF). The CQMC is composed of over 70 member organizations, including health insurance providers, primary care and specialty societies, consumer and employer groups, and regional quality collaboratives, working to facilitate cross-payer measure alignment. The CQMC has developed core measure sets that demonstrate an industry commitment to advancing health care quality while simultaneously reducing clinician burden and creating valuable information for consumers.

Please click here to access the reports and additional information on the CQMC.