Quality Measures & You: Clinicians
Whether you are an individual or a member of a professional group or association, there are many ways in which you can get involved throughout the lifecycle of quality measure development. It is CMS’ responsibility to ensure that meaningful robust clinical quality measures (CQMs) are available for determination of quality and value of clinical care across all settings. Physicians and their care teams are the most vital resource a patient has. As CMS develops clinical quality measures, CMS cannot do it without making a sustained, long-term commitment to take a holistic view on the demands on the physician and clinician workforce. To fully support and help realize the intent of the CMS Quality Strategy, it is critical to ensure that the measures developed are meaningful to patients and the providers who serve them, represent opportunities for improvement in care quality, and differentiate quality in a meaningful and valid way.
The term clinician refers to a healthcare professional qualified in the clinical practice of medicine. Clinicians are those who provide: principal care for a patient where there is no planned endpoint of the relationship; expertise needed for the ongoing management of a chronic disease or condition; care during a defined period and circumstance, such as hospitalization; or care as ordered by another clinician. Clinicians may be physicians, nurses, pharmacists, or other allied health professionals.
Why You Should Get Involved:
Clinician input is key to ensure that measures developed and maintained are effective for accountability, for quality improvement, and are useful to healthcare providers. It is also critical that the value added by the measure outweighs the burdens of collecting and reporting the data. Clinician input will help ensure that data collection and reporting for measures can be incorporated into daily practices and workflow to decrease burden.
Ways to Get Involved:
There are many ways to get involved. The first is to take steps to increase your own knowledge and understanding of clinical quality measures: what they are, how they work, how they impact healthcare. That information can all be found on this website for you to explore.
Another way is to be a member of the Technical Expert Panel, or TEP, for a specific measure. A TEP is a group of stakeholders and experts, including healthcare providers, who provide input to measure developers. TEP members are chosen based on their expertise, personal experience, diversity of perspectives, background, and training. You can see what panels are now being formed on the TEP webpage.
You can also participate in the public comment period for a proposed measure. The public comment period provides an opportunity for interested parties to provide input on the measures under development and to provide critical suggestions not previously considered by the measure developer or by the TEP.
You can attend the CMS Open Door Forums designed to address the concerns and issues of Medicare and Medicaid physicians, non-physician practitioners, nurses, and other allied health care professionals. You will find additional resources for providers on the CMS site here.