• CQMC Updates First Round of Core Quality Measure Sets

    Updated Primary Care-focused Core Measures Poised for Release

    October 1, 2020, 11:44 am Cindy Borgmeyer -- When the Core Quality Measures Collaborative recently released updates to four of its eight existing core measure sets, it was executing on the goal set years ago by the diverse coalition of more than 75 organizations ― including the AAFP ― of improving patient care, reducing administrative burden and eliminating redundancies.

    medical quality measures concept

    According to a Sept. 16 press release from the National Quality Forum, which houses the collaborative’s work, the updates further CQMC’s mission of providing useful quality metrics to support the U.S. health care system as it moves from a payment methodology that rewards volume of services to one that rewards value. That mission began when America’s Health Insurance Plans and CMS first convened the coalition of consumer groups and medical organizations, health insurance providers and purchasers, and other quality stakeholders in 2015.

    As a founding member of the collaborative and an active participant in developing and revising the measure sets, the AAFP welcomes the updates, said Amy Mullins, M.D., medical director of quality and science for the Academy, while at the same time setting the stage for the next round of updates to be released, which will include measures family physicians are more likely to use.

    “We support the process and the work of the collaborative,” she told AAFP News. “We talk to the major payers, and we encourage them to the adopt the sets into their value-based programs across the board.”

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    The result of a months-long process of consensus-based review and deliberation, the updated core sets cover the following areas of care:

    The reasons for the updates to these measure sets vary but, in general, fall under one of three categories:

    “If the measure sets were to be adopted by payers, that would harmonize the measures every physician, regardless of specialty, has to report on across all payers,” Mullins told AAFP News. “So that’s good for everyone. We want physician burden to be reduced across the board.”

    Achieving that objective has also animated updates to the four remaining core measure sets, including the Accountable Care Organizations/Patient Centered Medical Homes/Primary Care quality measures, according to Mullins, which will be far more relevant for family physicians. Those updates are expected to be released within weeks, she said, certainly before the end of the year.

    As co-chair of the workgroup tasked with updating the ACO/PCMH/Primary Care core set, Mullins offered some insight into how that group goes about settling on appropriate quality measures, a process she said is marked by “discussion, debate and compromise.”

    “There’s some give and take ― and that’s not always a comfortable place to be, but there are a lot of people at the table,” she explained: payers, professional societies, consumer groups and patient advocacy groups.

    “So, there are a lot of stakeholders at the table, not just clinician representatives. There are a lot of perspectives.”

    And it’s only by listening to and respecting all those voices that progress can be made, Mullins continued. “What we learned from the first iteration to the second is that if we don’t all give and take ― if just one cohort gets their way ― the sets aren’t going to get adopted.

    “Everybody has to have buy-in to the process for this to move forward in a meaningful way.”