GAO recommends priority setting to reduce quality measurement burden

The US Government Accounting Office (GAO) said in a report that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should comprehensively plan and set timelines in developing more meaningful quality measures, and prioritize development of electronic quality measures.  The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 called for GAO to examine the use of quality measures across HHS programs and private payers, with a focus on reducing burden. In the report, HHS concurs with the GAO recommendations.

To make it more likely that HHS will achieve its goals to reduce quality measure misalignment and associated provider burden the GAO recommended:

  • The Secretary of HHS should direct the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to comprehensively plan, including setting timelines, for how to target its development of new, more meaningful quality measures on those that will promote greater alignment, especially measures to strengthen the core measure sets that CMS and private payers have agreed to use.
  • The Secretary should direct CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to prioritize their development of electronic quality measures and associated standardized data elements on the specific quality measures needed for the core measure sets that CMS and private payers have agreed to use.