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HHS Releases National Health Care Quality Roadmap

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will work this year with the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and private sector stakeholders to develop a governance structure to improve and align federal health care quality programs while reducing administrative burden, according to a National Health Quality Roadmap released by HHS, writes American Hospital Association.

Required by an executive order last year, the Roadmap identifies specific actions to drive change through governance and oversight, data collection and reporting, and aligned measures in federal quality programs.

The HHS Secretary will stand up a transition team to execute on three simultaneous work streams: Governance, Data, and Measures.

Governance: By April 2020, the transition team will assess the scope of federal programs that collect, store, and use quality data. By July 2020, they will develop a plan for long-term governance including a strategy for engaging the private sector and patients. By October 2020, they will develop a mechanism for ongoing evaluation of program effectiveness. And finally, by December 31, they will establish the enduring governance structure.

Data: By Spring 2020, the transition team will solicit public input on information needs. By July 2020, they will publish a plan for publicly releasing HHS data sets and establish a process for validating provider-reported data. By December 31, 2020, they will improve accessibility and availability of federal datasets related to healthcare quality, establish agreements to share data across federal programs, and solicit ideas on data infrastructure changes that would reduce provider burden.

Measures: This will require ongoing patient and private-sector engagement. By Spring/Summer 2020, they will develop recommendations to streamline hospital and clinician quality programs to reduce provider burden. By July 2020, they will convene public and private-sector stakeholders to prioritize healthcare quality measurement goals, publish a standards document for the quality measures lifecycle, and review and reform CMS Compare sites and Star Ratings to better support patient decision-making. By December 31, 2020, they will identify opportunities to improve timeliness of feedback to providers and use broader and more generalizable datasets to provide a comprehensive view of quality performance.

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