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- NQF clarifies info on trial on socio-economic factors
5 pm, Jul. 28 |
The National Quality Forum says its upcoming trial examining the effects of socio-economic factors may potentially include 30-day readmission measures, but that is not the sole focus. The quality improvement organization offered clarity Monday, amid confusion the trial would look exclusively at readmissions.
Modern Healthcare reported Thursday that the NQF would study how socio-demographic factors, like income, education, primary language and race, would impact 30-day readmissions. The trial period will examine the effects of risk-adjustments on various measures, but the report does not make recommendations about any particular one, explained Ann Greiner, vice president of external affairs for the National Quality Forum.
Greiner says within the next few months the NQF staff will be developing criteria for the trial, in consultation with its Consensus Standards Approval Committee. The next step will be to establish the standing disparities committee, which will serve to advise NQF on the trial going forward. Specific details about the measures and duration of the trial remain to be established.
Among the board members who participated in the vote last week to establish the trial, 20 voted in favor of the rule, two against and two abstained. The CMS abstained from the vote, but the federal agency says it looks forward to working with the NQF on the issue. Many perspectives on the role of risk adjustment for socio-demographic factors were considered before a decision was made, and those perspectives will need to be continually weighed and balanced as the work continues, the CMS said in a statement.
“This is a really important first step,” said Greiner, who says many stakeholders see the trial as a positive step forward. Factors like a patient’s primary language and a community’s poverty level are not considered under current policy. “We’re now going to have an opportunity to see the effects of such an adjustment and to get the information we need to inform our permanent policy,” she said.
Follow Sabriya Rice on Twitter: @MHSRice