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NQF Releases Independent Evaluation Examining Use of Performance Measures

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The National Quality Forum (NQF) released a report evaluating how performance measures are currently being used in the field, by whom, and for what purpose; summarizes key barriers and facilitators to using measures; and identifies opportunities for maximizing standardized performance measure use moving forward.   Over the course of six months, researchers conducted interviews with measure end-users—such as community collaboratives, health plans, state and federal government agencies, and consumer groups—and performed a review of publicly available documents and materials from websites.   Nearly all instances of measure use—to include public reporting, payment and network selection, accreditation and certification, and quality improvement—included an NQF-endorsed measure, with only 1 percent of organizations studied not using any NQF-endorsed measures. Organizations cited a number of internal and external factors driving their use of performance measures, such as legislative requirements related to quality-based payments and public reporting contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Others used the measures in response to local public health issues, such as obesity, or to help operationalize their individual missions.  The ability of data to construct measures was the single-most important cited factor as either facilitating or impeding the use of measures.

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