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CMS Announces New Quality Strategy

During this week’s 2020 CMS Quality Conference, Seema Verma, administrator of The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced a new quality strategy addressing transparency, measurement standards, accountability, and data modernization while minimizing unnecessary reporting burdens on physicians.

The new quality strategy mimics the same framework CMS implemented during April 2019 for nursing homes as part of CMS’ Patients over Paperwork initiative. Based on that success, it was decided to expand the program to other industries during 2020.

Verma outlined the four main pillars of the strategy:

  • Establish clear and reasonable quality expectations for quality
  • Strengthen oversight and enforcement
  • Promote transparency, competition, and consumer choice
  • Modernize quality improvement

In addition, CMS’ Meaningful Measures initiative, launched during 2017, will be updated and relaunched as Meaningful Measures 2.0, with a renewed focus on integrating technology to allow for quality measures to be “seamlessly transmitted” from a patient’s electronic health record. This use of technology aligns with the recently released Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Through CMS’ Patients over Paperwork initiative, launched during 2011, HAP established its Hospital Engagement Network (HEN), which focused on improving processes to ensure high-quality patient care. This was subsequently followed by HAP’s HEN 2.0 and, finally, HAP's Hospital Improvement Innovation Network. Through these programs, Pennsylvania hospitals have advanced and refined their focus on patient-centered care.

During October, 2019, in a joint news release, HAP, along with the New Jersey and Ohio hospital associations, announced the creation of Q3 Health Innovation Partners (Q3HIP), a new joint venture to improve health quality and patient safety. Q3HIP’s vision is to collaborate in innovative research, quality improvement and population health strategies to advance the health and well-being of 33 million people, including nearly 6 million Medicare beneficiaries, living in New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

For more information about HAP’s patient quality efforts, contact Robert Shipp, III, vice president, quality and population health.

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