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NQF Releases Draft Report on Risk-Adjustment Trial

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has released a draft report evaluating its two-year trial period that allowed for consideration of social risk factors as part of the measure endorsement process.

This draft is not open to public comment, but was released to facilitate discussion at the NQF Disparities Committee meeting held on June 1415.

Before the trial period, NQF barred the use of social risk factors in risk-adjustment models of NQF-endorsed measures. Since April 2015, the NQF Consensus Development Process standing committees were allowed to consider any measure submitted for endorsement as long as it properly accounted for social risk.

In its evaluation of the trial period, NQF found that measures with a conceptual basis for risk adjustment did not always demonstrate an empirical relationship. Additional feedback from measure developers who submitted measures to the trial highlighted the challenges involved in acquiring empirical data on social risk factors.

Of the 303 performance measures submitted, 65 were determined to have a conceptual basis for adjustment for social risk factors. Seventeen of those were found to also have empirical evidence to support adjustment and were endorsed or recommended for endorsement.

NQF will consult with experts and stakeholders to continue evaluating this trial and options for future measure evaluation and endorsement.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Emily Schweich is a communications manager at America's Essential Hospitals.

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