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CMS Reports Progress Toward Triple Aim

The 2015 National Impact Assessment of Quality Measures Report, released March 2 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), shows that delivery system transformation across the country has made progress in achieving the Triple Aim of providing better care, lower costs, and improved health.

The report analyzes CMS quality programs and the measures they use to tie incentives to quality. The agency found that 95 percent of 119 studied measures improved during the 2006 to 2012 study period. Also, 35 percent were high performing, meaning that the performance rates for the measures exceeded 90 percent in each of the most recent three years of available data.

CMS also reported these findings:

  • Improved performance on inpatient hospital heart failure measures saved 7,000 to 10,000 lives.
  • Inpatient surgical process measure improvement averted 4,000 to 7,000 infections.
  • Racial and ethnic disparities lessened over the study period; CMS said reducing disparities remains a priority.
  • Measure rates for Hispanics, blacks, and Asians showed the most improvement.

The Affordable Care Act requires CMS to produce an impact assessment every three years. A planned 2018 report will focus in part on the impact of quality measurement on providers and the relationship between quality and cost. Contact Beth Feldpush, DrPH, senior vice president of policy and advocacy, at or 202.585.0111 with questions.


About the Author

Matt Buechner is the policy and advocacy associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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