Harmonized Outcome Measure Set Created for Musculoskeletal Care

Feb. 5, 2024
Unified measure set integrates legacy and Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) measures

At the request of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), two software companies in the rehab therapy space have come together to develop a single unified outcome measure set for musculoskeletal (MSK) care.

WebPT, a rehab therapy platform for practice experience management, and Limber Health, a digital health solution enabling the delivery of hybrid musculoskeletal (MSK) care, developed the new MSK Measure Set.

WebPT administers legacy industry standard outcome measures through its Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR), and Limber Health administers Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) computer-adaptive outcome measures through its QCDR. The companies worked to harmonize quality measure sets in collaboration with Intermountain Health, Upstream Rehabilitation, and ATI Physical Therapy. 

WebPT and Limber Health said they are empowering clinicians to choose which outcome measure tools to report on in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) quality payment program, while maintaining consistent parameters. This enables CMS to more equitably compare clinician outcomes, regardless of tool used, they said. In addition, regardless of the platform utilized, such as WebPT or Limber Health, rehab therapists will be able to benchmark their performance and outcomes instruments the same way. 

“As care has progressed across disciplines, there’s been a pressing need to consistently measure outcomes across all settings,” says Susan Lofton, vice president of outcomes & clinical transformation at WebPT, in a statement. “The industry needed to integrate our rehab industry standard measures with newer measures, like PROMIS, that are used in different specialty settings to allow for improved communication and collaboration across the continuum of care. We partnered with Limber Health to provide this, and are thrilled to have taken steps together toward the long-term good of the industry.” 

The new MSK Measure Set is co-stewarded by WebPT’s MSK and Rehabilitative Care Outcomes QCDR and Limber Health’s Advancing MSK Care and Rehabilitation QCDR. Similarly to WebPT’s former measure set, the “IROMS Quality Measures,” the new MSK Measure set continues to leverage commonly used Patient-Reported Outcome Measure (PROM) tools like the Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) the Neck Disability Index (NDI), the Quick Disability of the Shoulder, Arm, and Hand (QDASH), the Modified Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire (MDQ), the Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS), and the Knee Outcome Survey (KOS), with which rehab therapists are familiar. Additionally, this new MSK Measure set also includes the PROMIS measures previously supported via Limber Health’s former measure set, the LMBR Quality Measures. 

“Incorporating PROMIS surveys into our project was a monumental step towards enhancing patient care,” said Julia Goodwin, director of outcome strategy at Limber Health, in a statement. "PROMIS allows for whole-body health measurement, which provides a new way to measure patient progress, alongside traditional injury-specific outcomes. By challenging the status quo and continually seeking ways to improve patient-reported outcome collections, we strive to demonstrate the true value of physical therapy through comprehensive and insightful data.”

The two companies said that the MSK Measure Set, CMS-approved for 2024 use, sets a new standard, fostering choice for clinicians and ensuring equitable comparison for CMS, a transformative step toward industry representation in value-based care. 


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