HHS Announcement on Quality-Based Payment Sparks Renewed Debate on Measures

February 20, 2015 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​The recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that it plans to transition to quality-based Medicare payments by 2018 has renewed the debate over the adequacy of current quality measures, as highlighted in a January 30, 2015, Wall Street Journal article. HHS recently publicized its plan to move to quality-based payments, including a goal to make 30% of Medicare fee-for-services payments through alternative payment models, such as accountable care organizations, patient-centered medical homes, and bundled payments by the end of 2016 and 50% of payments, by the end of 2018 (see the February 6, 2015, Physician Practice E-News). Although the National Quality Forum recently submitted nearly 200 quality measures to HHS for its consideration, the American Medical Association is quoted in the article as contending that "we do not yet have high-quality outcome measures with enough specificity to drive improvement."

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