Society Submits Application for MACRA Grant Funding
This week the Society took a significant step forwarding to addressing one its key strategic objectives by applying for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) MACRA quality measure funding opportunity. Earlier this year CMS issued the Funding Opportunity to provide technical and funding assistance in the form of cooperative agreements to entities to develop, improve, update, or expand quality measures for use in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) established under MACRA. CMS plans to award up to 20 specialty societies with up to $6 million dollars for a 3-year period. In its project narrative, the Society highlighted its long history of involvement in the quality measure development arena as well as its expertise in developing the only clinical practice guidelines for the nursing facility space. The Society went on to state that while there are current “reportable” measures under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), those measures do not reflect quality care in the skilled nursing facility (SNF)/nursing facility(NF) space.
In its application, the Society partnered with the RAND corporation, a long-time respected measure developer, to develop 2-4 process measures to assess the appropriate use of diagnostic testing and antibiotics for the treatment of urinary tract infections (UTI). The proposal seeks to develop and test “appropriate QMs to monitor and affect practitioner behavior around inappropriate use of laboratory tests and prescribing of antibiotics”. The Society feels that these QMs will align well with current facility requirements to establish antibiotic stewardship programs and will engage clinicians in those efforts.
Many Society members have been vocal about the need for more relevant and appropriate QMs for SNF/NF-based practitioners and have requested that measures be developed that reflect their practice and align with facility goals. The challenge is to create measures that do not add administrative burden to the already burdensome program and yet provide the ability to capture necessary data for successful reporting. If received, this funding would allow the Society to work with CMS and interested stakeholders to develop the necessary infrastructure, including health information technology, to capture and report such data. The proposal addresses these concerns by positioning the Society to develop a Society-housed registry and electronically specifying the QMs such that it eliminates administrative burden for the practitioners.