CHICAGO — As HHS and private payers propel health care further down the value road, we might wonder if we're putting the cart ahead of the horse. After all, how can we truly assess the value of care if the measures are outdated or inappropriate?
That seemed to be the underlying message that Christine Cassel, M.D., delivered yesterday during her luncheon speech at the 2015 ACHE Congress.
When the quality movement began more than a decade ago, measures were never intended to be applied to payment, the president and CEO of the National Quality Forum said. Rather, the idea was to arm patients with more information and help them to make better decisions. To be sure, quality measures have helped to spur an era of transparency, improved outcomes and safer care for patients, but Cassel urged the audience of health care executives and leaders-to-be to join NQF in an effort to ensure that measures are keeping pace with the change occurring in health care.
“If we are going to more rapidly move to these new payment models, and if there is going to be more at stake … it is even more important that we get the measures right,” she said. “We need to get measures right and get rid of measures that don’t work.”
It’s similar to a message that American Hospital Association Chairman Jonathan Perlin, M.D., told me during a recent interview. Perlin noted that hospitals need more consistency and predictability on the measures front.
Ultimately, Cassel said, the quality movement needs to align the vast majority of measures to reduce the reporting burden on providers and accelerate improvement in patient care.