What is the CMS National Quality Strategy?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will set and raise the bar for a resilient, high-value health care system that promotes quality outcomes, safety, equity, and accessibility for all individuals, especially for people in historically underserved and under-resourced communities.

  • Quality Mission: All persons receive equitable, high quality and value-based care.
  • Quality Vision: As a trusted partner, shape a resilient, high-value American health care system to achieve high-quality, safe, equitable and accessible care for all.

CMS National Quality Strategy goals

  1. Embed Quality into the Care Journey: Incorporate quality as a foundational component to delivering value as a part of the overall care journey. Quality includes ensuring optimal care and best outcomes for individuals of all ages and backgrounds as well as across service delivery systems and settings. Quality also extends across payer types.
  2. Advance Health Equity: Address the disparities that underlie our health system, both within and across settings, to ensure equitable access and care for all.
  3. Promote Safety: Prevent harm or death from health care errors.
  4. Foster Engagement: Increase engagement between individuals and their care teams to improve quality, establish trusting relationships, and bring the voices of people and caregivers to the forefront.
  5. Strengthen Resilience: Ensure resilience in the health care system to prepare for, and adapt to, future challenges and emergencies.
  6. Embrace the Digital Age: Ensure timely, secure, seamless communication and care coordination between providers, plans, payers, community organizations, and individuals through interoperable, shared, and standardized digital data across the care continuum.
  7. Incentivize Innovation & Technology: Accelerate innovation in care delivery and incorporate technology enhancements (e.g. telehealth, machine learning, advanced analytics, new care advances) to transform the quality of care and advance value.
  8. Increase Alignment: Develop a coordinated approach to align performance metrics, programs, policy, and payment across CMS, federal partners, and external stakeholders to improve value. Strive to create a simplified national picture of quality measurement that is comprehensible to individuals, their families, providers, and payers.

Implementing the CMS National Quality Strategy

CMS will look to federal partners, external stakeholders, contract organizations (such as the Quality Improvement Organizations), private payers, and others to implement the goals outlined in the CMS National Quality Strategy.

The success of this Strategy relies on coordination, innovative thinking, and collaboration across all entities. A unified approach brings us all one step closer to the health care system we envision for every individual.

Aligning Quality Measures Across CMS - the Universal Foundation

To further the goals of the CMS National Quality Strategy, CMS leaders from across the Agency have come together to move towards a building-block approach to streamline quality measure across CMS quality programs for the adult and pediatric populations. This “Universal Foundation” of quality measure will focus provider attention, reduce burden, identify disparities in care, prioritize development of interoperable, digital quality measures, allow for cross-comparisons across programs, and help identify measurement gaps. The development and implementation of the Preliminary Adult and Pediatric Universal Foundation Measures will promote the best, safest, and most equitable care for individuals as we all come together on these critical quality areas. As CMS moves forward with the Universal Foundation, we will be working to identify foundational measures in other specific settings and populations to support further measure alignment across CMS programs as applicable.

To learn more the impact and next steps of the Universal Foundation, read the recent publication of ‘Aligning Quality Measures Across CMS - the Universal Foundation’ in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Send feedback to QualityStrategy@cms.hhs.gov.

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Page Last Modified:
02/08/2023 06:33 PM