CMS rolls out 'Meaningful Measures' initiative to curb burden of quality reporting

CMS on Monday unveiled the "Meaningful Measures" initiative, which aims to reduce the regulatory hurdles associated with quality reporting.

Here are three things to know.

1. The agency plans to simplify the measures hospitals and physicians must report on, zeroing in on the most important measures to improve care quality and patient outcomes.

"We need to move from fee-for-service to a system that pays for value and quality — but how we define value and quality today is a problem," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said Monday during a speech at the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network Fall Summit. "We all know it: Clinicians and hospitals have to report an array of measures to different payers. There are many steps involved in submitting them, taking time away from patients. Moreover, it's not clear whether all of these measures are actually improving patient care."

2. CMS co-developed Meaningful Measures with the Learning and Action Network, the National Academies of Medicine, the Core Quality Measures Collaborative and the National Quality Forum. Through the initiative, these groups will identify the issues most critical to quality improvement and make sure CMS regulations reflect these core areas.

"It's better to focus on achieving results, as opposed to having CMS try to micromanage and measure processes," Ms. Verma said. "The ultimate goal of Meaningful Measures is to direct efforts on high-priority areas."

3. Meaningful Measures comes a week after CMS launched "Patients Over Paperwork," an initiative aimed at identifying unnecessary burdens and inefficiencies that prevent healthcare providers from spending time with patients.

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