CMS revamps quality strategy: 5 things to know

CMS Administrator Seema Verma unveiled a new quality strategy that aims to streamline reporting and reduce physician burnout at the agency's 2020 Quality Conference in Baltimore.

Five things to know:

1. The reimagined strategy is based on a framework CMS launched in April 2019 to promote safety and quality in nursing homes.

"This framework … was so successful that we decided to replicate it across the agency and in all our programs in 2020 and beyond," Ms. Verma said in a Feb. 25 speech at the CMS conference.

2. The new quality strategy will focus on four main pillars:

  • Establish clear and reasonable quality expectations through government standards and quality measures.
  • Improve oversight and enforcement of quality standards to ensure accountability.
  • Promote transparency, competition and consumer choice by sharing quality information with the public.
  • Modernize quality improvement efforts through advances in data analytics and technology.

3. As part of this effort, CMS plans to launch its Merit-Based Incentive Program Value Pathways in 2021, according to Medscape. Instead of using general quality measures, the pathways will allow physicians to select measure sets that relate to their specific specialty or patient population.

4. The agency will also roll out its Meaningful Measures 2.0 framework in the coming months, Ms. Verma said. The initiative's ultimate goal is to automatically send quality data from providers' EHRs to a centralized submission system, so physicians "don't have to lift a finger," she added.

5. CMS also plans to increase its oversight of accrediting organizations to streamline the way they are inspecting providers and eliminate any conflicts of interest among agencies that also charge for consulting services.

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