CMS awards funding for quality measure development

Sept. 24, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded seven organizations new cooperative agreements to partner with the agency in developing, improving, updating, or expanding quality measures for Medicare’s Quality Payment Program (QPP). These cooperative agreements, authorized under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), represent the first funding initiative supporting public-private efforts to develop measures for the Quality Payment Program.

Through these partnerships, CMS will work closely with external organizations—such as clinical professional organizations and specialty societies, patient advocacy groups, educational institutions, independent research institutions, and health systems—to develop and implement measures that offer the most promise for improving patient care.

This funding program aligns with CMS’s Meaningful Measures framework, which identifies high priorities for quality measurement and improvement. As outlined in the CMS Quality Measure Development Plan, the work announced today is intended to fill gaps in the QPP measure set. This could involve removing measures with limited value and adding others that are more clinically appropriate, increase value, reduce provider burden, and enhance patient care. Program partners will work to establish more appropriate measures for clinical specialties underrepresented in the current measure set with the goal of improving patient care, and focus on outcome measures, including patient-reported and functional-status measures, to better reflect what matters most to patients.

The measures developed through this initiative will help shape Medicare’s Quality Payment Program, which CMS established to implement certain provisions of MACRA. Heading into its third year in 2019, the Quality Payment Program consists of two participation pathways for doctors and other clinicians—the Merit-based Incentive Payment System or MIPS, which measures performance in four categories to determine an adjustment to Medicare payment, and Advanced Alternative Payment Models or Advanced APMs, in which clinicians may earn an incentive payment through sufficient participation in risk-based payment models.

This year, CMS has removed or proposed to eliminate reporting requirements for 105 measures across the agency’s programs, saving healthcare providers $178 million over the next three years.  More than 400 measures remain across these programs, and CMS remains committed to patient safety and quality.

For more information on the funding awards to support Medicare quality measure development, please visit: https://go.cms.gov/1Gb6GDL

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