CHICAGO — The American Medical Assoc. (AMA) is participating with other physician organizations, health plans, patient groups, employers, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in a new initiative aimed at creating consistency and alignment of the quality measures reported by physicians and used by both public and private payers.
As part of the first phase of this new effort, the Core Quality Measures Collaborative led by CMS and America’s Health Insurance Plans introduced the initial core-quality-measure sets for select areas of practice, including accountable-care organizations and patient-centered medical homes, primary care, cardiology, gastroenterology, HIV/hepatitis C, medical oncology, obstetrics and gynecology, and orthopedics.
While still a work in progress, the evidence-based measure sets represent an important first step in establishing a model for future collaboration on performance-measure alignment in these and other areas. The measures are also intended to provide timely information back to physicians and patients on care quality, while also taking steps to reduce the administrative burden currently associated with reporting quality measures.
“The AMA looks forward to continuing to participate in this initiative dedicated to alignment of quality measures because it has the potential to improve the health of the nation while also reducing administrative hassle that can lead to improved professional satisfaction and sustainability of physician practices,” said AMA President Dr. Steven Stack.
The AMA will remain engaged in this ongoing process to ensure that the core-measure sets are updated and improved upon as new evidence and better measures become available. The AMA will monitor the use of the measures in practice, in partnership with physician specialty societies, for unintended consequences and advocate for modifications as needed.
The new core-measure sets have the potential to lessen the burden of measurement by physician practices, which was recently described as a “measurement tsunami” by participants in a 2015 study conducted by the AMA and RAND Health. The collaborative study investigated physician experiences with the adoption of new approaches to healthcare delivery and payment as part of the AMA’s ongoing strategic commitment to help physicians and their practices thrive so they can continue to put patients first.