CMS Releases Annual Quality Measure Development Plan

May 25, 2018
Policy Snapshot

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released their 2018 Annual Report: Quality Measure Development Plan (MDP). The 2018 MDP Annual Report describes CMS activities during the previous year to advance the development of clinician quality measures in accordance with MACRA. In 2017, as required by MACRA, CMS transitioned from three discrete clinician quality programs to the Quality Payment Program, consisting of MIPS and incentive payments for participation in Advanced APMs.  Highlights of their efforts to implement the measure development plan included:

Developing Meaningful Measures and Reducing Burden

  • CMS announced the Patients Over Paperwork and Meaningful Measures initiatives to reduce the cost and burden of reporting measures in order to focus providers on the quality issues most important to patients and clinicians and provide a framework for patient-centered measure development across CMS programs.
  • CMS made progress toward developing a patient-centered portfolio of measures for the Quality Payment Program, including:
    • 275 quality measures finalized for MIPS in 2018, including 172 high-priority measures representing each of the MACRA domains.
    • 150 qualified clinical data registries (QCDRs) approved for 2018, including
    • 14 new registries applicable to the priority specialties in the MDP, expanding coverage to 56 specialties.
    • Five new specialty-specific measure sets added in 2018 for a total of 35.
    • Seven new outcome measures included on the 2017 CMS Measures Under 3 Consideration List, five of which are directly applicable to the prioritized specialties of general medicine/crosscutting and orthopedic surgery. All five received support or conditional support for rulemaking from the Measure Applications Partnership (MAP).4
    • Seven measures in development address specialty gaps in general medicine and orthopedic surgery specialties across three priority MACRA domains.
  • The CY 2018 Quality Payment Program final rule established policies aimed at encouraging successful participation, extending the flexibility of the program while reducing cost and burden for eligible clinicians.

Partnering With Patients and Families

  • CMS contractors used a number of practices to collaborate with patients and caregivers at various stages of measure development and maintenance through focus groups, interviews, TEPs, and development of a patient engagement network.

Collaborating With Clinicians

  • CMS engaged clinicians in quality and cost measure development activities through webinars and in-person educational offerings and by promoting opportunities for clinician participation in measure development.
  • CMS hosted the Spotlight series as a forum to showcase clinician-driven innovations and efficiencies in measure development processes.
  • CMS met with clinicians to understand challenges and identify improvements in reporting electronic clinical quality measures.

Improving the Measure Development Process

  • CMS released a new online searchable Measure Inventory Tool, a common platform for all stakeholders to find critical information about measures under development, implemented for use in a CMS quality program or initiative, or removed from use.

Funding New Measure Development

  • On March 2, 2018, CMS announced a funding opportunity for $30 million in grants to be awarded, beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2018, for quality measure development. The funding opportunity is aimed at external stakeholders with insight into clinician and patient perspectives on quality measurement and areas for improvement to advance quality measures for the Quality Payment Program.

Click here to read the entire report.