Catalyst for Payment Reform

Throwback Thursday: Quality Measures That Still Matter

Throwback Thursday: Quality Measures That Still Matter

Over the last seventeen years, one of the questions I have heard most often from employers and other big purchasers of health care is “Which quality measures matter the most?”  Back in 2000 when I was the founding CEO of The Leapfrog Group, this question was asked in the spirit of “where should we start?” At that time, there were no agreed upon national standards for how to measure health care quality.  It was time to kick start the measure manufacturing process.

Fast forward to today. Now we have too many quality measures.  Health care providers warn about how measurement is taking away from patient care.  And from the perspective of employers, regardless of how plentiful they are, we don’t necessarily have the right quality measures.

Employers want measures that help identify the great health care providers as well as the ones to avoid.  In addition, employers want measures that tell the story of how a provider’s patients fare – do healthy ones stay that way and do sick ones get better?

It can be overwhelming and hard to know where to turn.  So, in 2015, Catalyst for Payment Reform worked with the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute and Discern Health to query commercial health plan databases to identify on what clinical areas employers are spending the most and where there is also the greatest variation in quality and cost.  From that we created a list of the best measures for the top 12 clinical areas, as well as a handful that should be meaningful to any patient, regardless of their specific condition or needs.  It’s been about eighteen months, but these measures have never been more relevant!  Take a look, see what you think, and push your health plan to use them.

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