The Definitive Blog

CMS: Processes are Easier to Improve than Outcomes

According to a new CMS study, healthcare facilities are improving more rapidly on process measures than they are on clinical outcome measures, reports Modern Healthcare.

This report, called the 2015 National Impact Assessment, is a comprehensive evaluation of the effects of hundreds of measures used across a total of 25 CMS quality-reporting programs for hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and clinician offices.

This analysis includes the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing, Hospital –Acquired Condition Reduction, Nursing Home Quality Initiative, and Home Health Quality Reporting programs, among others.

Overall, the assessment found that our nation found improvements on most of the publicly reported measures evaluated between 2006 and 2013.

The report found that of 119 publicly reported measures, a total of 41 measures were classified as “high performing.” That translates to performance rates exceeding 90% in the three final years for which data were available.

Process measures, measures which look at how well facilities follow clinical guidelines, were most likely to reach the high performer level with 34 out of the 41.

Only six of the high performance measures, however, addressed clinical outcomes.

Additionally, it was found between 7,000 and 10,000 lives were saved through improved performance on inpatient hospital heart-failure process measures.

This new CMS report also found that more than 700 new quality measures were added between 2006 and 2013.  These additions were a result of an increase in federal evaluation programs, which increased from five to 25 from 2006 to 2013.

Definitive Healthcare’s suite of healthcare provider databases tracks all relevant public reported quality metrics such as those in this study, Hospital Value-Based Purchasing, Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction, Nursing Home Quality Initiative and Home Health Quality Reporting programs.

March 10, 2015