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MUCking Around for New Quality Measures

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 12, 2013

"The drafts have included a schedule of how measures would be used, with some emphasis on outcome measures, not just process measures," he says.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself something along these lines: Good Grief. Don't we already have enough measures woven into our current regulatory incentive programs to drive providers into the holiday punch bowl?

Kramer acknowledges that there are a lot of measures now in play. But no one feels they're necessarily the best measures or only measures to rate care. And that's what's great about the MAP, and this year's MUC, he says.

Mapping quality measures

There's lots of variety in the MUC. For example, the American College of Emergency Physicians thinks a good measure of quality within emergency departments would be to count the percentage of patients with minor head injury who got a head CT. A higher number would mean poorer quality of care because those patients probably didn't really need that expensive test, which wasted resources and could have revealed clinically insignificant findings.

More proposed measures: The National Committee for Quality Assurance proposes that a physician who discusses with his or her patients at least once a year the importance of regular exercise is a better doctor than a physician who doesn't broach that topic.

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