AHA urges NQF, CMS to adopt sociodemographic risk adjustment proposal

AHA News Now

The AHA today urged the National Quality Forum and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to adopt an expert panel’s recommendations for adjusting quality measures to account for sociodemographic risk factors such as Medicaid status, income, education and homelessness. “A large body of evidence demonstrates that sociodemographic factors such as income and insurance status affect many patient outcomes, including readmissions and costs,” wrote AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack. “…We strongly urge CMS to adopt the NQF panel’s recommendations and adjust its measures in its many quality reporting and pay-for-performance programs. Moreover, we urge NQF to place a high priority on working with CMS to rapidly address its measures. Lastly, we concur with the panel’s recommendation that NQF expand its role by developing more detailed implementation guidance for measures, and clarifying for what uses a measure is endorsed.” NQF is accepting public comment on the expert panel’s recommendations through Apr. 16. For more on the draft recommendations, see the AHA Quality Advisory for members.

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