(From the July 2014 Research Now)
Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of 20 organizations participating in a new study launched by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) to examine the performance of accountable care organizations (ACO) and develop quality benchmarks.
This pilot project, funded by the Commonwealth Fund, offers participating ACOs to compare their performance by collecting and reporting a set of standardized performance measures during 2014. Eligible organizations are groups of doctors, hospitals or other providers that are responsible for the cost and the quality of a defined population’s health care and that want to compare their results to other ACOs.
The NCQA and participating ACOs will work collaboratively to identify a set of standardized metrics for reporting. The NCQA is interested in analyzing a minimum of 10 measures, but the measurement priorities of ACO participants will determine the final list of performance measures.
Metrics will be drawn from existing standardized measures, including those required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Shared Savings and Pioneer programs and those adapted from the Health Plan Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) tool for ACO implementation. The NCQA’s HEDIS is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care.
Participating ACOs like Nationwide Children’s will receive technical assistance with measure implementation and a data submission tool. Additionally, these ACOs will have a chance to participate in an in-depth interview to provide feedback on challenges and strategies to resolve them. Other benefits for Nationwide Children’s include receiving a snapshot of the hospital’s performance against other ACOs, and attendance at a Webinar to present the analysis and findings from the project.
Information from the pilot will shape the evolution of ACO quality measures. The NCQA will release the results of this project via a Webinar and report in the fall of 2014. For more information on the project, please see the NCQA website for the ACO Measures Pilot Project.