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December 4, 2017

The 32 measures CMS is considering for Medicare quality, VBP programs in 2018

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    CMS on Thursday released its annual list of the quality and cost measures under consideration (MUC) for Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs for 2018.

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    The Affordable Care Act requires CMS to release the list of measures it is considering each year by Dec. 1. The list includes measures proposed by CMS and the public. CMS collaborates with the National Quality Forum (NQF) and receives input from stakeholders, such as clinicians and commercial payers, on the measures.

    List details

    Kate Goodrich, director of CMS' Center for Clinical Standards & Quality, in a blog post wrote that the list includes 32 measures. Goodrich said CMS selected the measures from a larger list of 184 measures proposed by stakeholders during an open call for recommendations.

    Goodrich wrote that the MUCs are intended "to help quantify health care outcomes and track the effectiveness, safety, and patient-centeredness of the care provided." She added that the MUCs "focus on clearly defined, meaningful measure priority areas that safeguard public health and improve patient outcomes."

    Goodrich wrote that 40% of the MUCs "are outcome measures, including patient-reported outcome measures, which will help empower patients to make decisions about their own health care and help clinicians to make continuous improvements in the care provided." According to Goodrich, eight of the MUCs "are … episode-based cost measures … developed by incorporating the insight and expertise of clinicians and specialty societies." 

    Next steps

    NQF is accepting initial public comments on the list through Dec. 7. NQF will present recommendations on the measures based on stakeholder feedback to HHS on Feb. 1, 2018. NQF will publish reports on the recommendations in February and March of next year (Castellucci, Modern Healthcare, 11/30; CMS blog post, 11/30; NQF release, 11/20).

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