Officials Foresee Improved Quality Reporting

Close attention to aligning physician quality measures, better coordination of efforts among federal agencies and deployment of interoperable electronic health records will reduce administrative burdens on physicians and increase voluntary reporting activities, according to a new article from experts at the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The authors note that while voluntary participation in the CMS Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) increased by 10% from 2007 to 2010, only a quarter of the nation’s eligible professionals were participating in 2010. They argue that reducing the reporting burden for providers and aligning public and private-sector reporting activities will likely improve participation rates.

They note that currently five federal data reporting initiatives all use different adult immunization reporting measure—thereby undercutting practitioners’ willingness to participate in such efforts voluntarily. In the future, the authors foresee: “more robust date-driven clinical quality measures that elucidate changes in a patient’s health outcomes and functional status longitudinally and across care settings.” They also believe redesigned and more user-friendly Compare websites (including implementation of mobile applications) will make performance information more readily accessible to patients and families. The article “A History of and a Vision for CMS Quality Measurement Programs,” by Kate Goodrich, MD, MHS; Edward Garcia, MHS; and Patrick H. Conway, MD, MSc, appears in the October 2012 edition of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety (vol 38, number 10). Visit the Joint Commission’s website at www.jcaho.org.