5 Challenges Facing Digital Quality Measurement

The National Association of ACOs is the latest to meet CMS’s electronic quality measurement goals.

Which challenge should you tackle first in digital quality reporting?

the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS) is one of many to ask the question like CMS Objectives for “[t]transforming measurements to be fully digital by 2025.” NAACOS announced that it “has launched a new task force, aimed at developing recommendations on how to successfully collect and electronically report quality of ACO care through disparate health information technology systems”.

In his Press releaseNAACOS noted the following digital quality measurement challenges for the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and other stakeholders:

  1. Interoperability. An ongoing industry challenge requiring the collection, integration and analysis of data from dozens of disparate EHR systems.
  2. Standardization. A key element of interoperability applies not only to the data, but also to the quality measures themselves. Electronic clinical quality measures (eCQM) were among the Final price announcement.
  3. Rationalization. CMS’s Meaningful Measurements program, currently in Phase 2.0, will continue to focus on reducing and consolidating measurements. Some ACOs have already done this work. A care star rating based on the consolidated value of an MSSP – the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance– covers more than 50 multipayer contracts and was presented in a January 2022 NAACO Webinar.
  4. Unique ACO challenges. NAACOS reports that more than 75% of ACOs need to navigate at least six EHR systems, with 37% managing 15 or more. NAACOS also cited the “implications and unintended consequences of requiring reporting of data on entire patient populations instead of just the MSSP,” which has been the norm for a decade.
  5. Financial and operational changes. Achieving all of the above by 2025 will take time, resources, and money, which NAACOS calls “a significant investment from vendors, practices, and ACOs.”

The NCQA response

NAACOs is not alone. Mid-2021, the CAQS responded to the Announcement and Request for Information (RFI) of CMS Meaningful Metrics 2.0. Putting eCQM Needs in the Context of a Pandemic That Has Revealed How Vulnerable We Are, NCQA Director of Federal Affairs Eric Musser wrote:

“Now imagine this: we are in 2025, and there is another pandemic, but this time there is a solution to these problems. There is a solution because the federal government, with the support of the private sector, looked at how the system failed in 2020 and asked, “How can we build an infrastructure that ensures we will never be caught off guard again? ? ” “

The NCQA’s digital quality metrics priorities include a “digital-first” portfolio and metrics that are “configurable, modular” and can be accessed and integrated through APIs and standards such as Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR).

Returning to NAACOS’ response, Katherine Schneider – Chair of the Digital Quality Measurement Working Group – noted: “[W]We know that digital quality reporting in general is the direction we need to go, but we need to get it right, ultimately for the benefit of the value-based care momentum and for patients, including including those supported by safety net providers.

Laura Beerman is a staff writer for HealthLeaders.

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