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Hospital Groups Back NQF Report on Patient Sociodemographics

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 16, 2014

'Really Important Things to Consider'
"The negative unintended consequences of failing to adjust measures for sociodemographic factors are substantial," Pollack said in the letter, which was sent at the close of the 30-day comment period. "Moreover, we urge NQF to place a high priority on working with CMS to rapidly address its measures."

"Lastly," the letter says, "we concur with the panel's recommendation that NQF expand its role by developing more detailed implementation guidance for measures, and clarifying for what uses a measure is endorsed."

Nancy Foster, AHA's vice president of quality and safety policy, says clinical factors are already baked into hospital outcome measures to reflect hospitals that serve sicker or older populations. The NQF recommendations take the process one step further.

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"This is a report that says beyond the clinical factors there are really important things to consider when you are looking at outcomes, particularly outcomes that you are measuring, and a considerable amount of times measuring post hospitalization," Foster says.

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