The National Quality Forum (NQF) Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) on March 16 released its report with final recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services on performance measures under consideration for use in federal health care programs.

Performance measures form the basis of national pay-for-performance and public reporting programs. America’s Essential Hospitals is an organizational member of the MAP Hospital Workgroup.

The final recommendations highlight the importance of using measurement to maximize value in health care by:

  • reducing measurement burden;
  • ensuring a person-centered approach to measurement; and
  • advancing measurement science.

Of particular note, the MAP acknowledged a need for more research to understand the role of social risk factors, such as socioeconomic status (SES), in quality measurement. The MAP examined findings related to SES from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, recent changes to the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program required under the 21st Century Cures Act, and results from an NQF trial period for SES risk adjustment.

The report calls on the NQF Disparities Standing Committee to create a plan to measure equity and provide guidance to ensure value-based purchasing improves quality while maintaining access for vulnerable populations.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.