National Quality Forum Guidelines for Evaluating the Scientific Acceptability of Risk-adjusted Clinical Outcome Measures

A Report From the National Quality Forum Scientific Methods Panel

Published in: Annals of Surgery, Volume 271, Issue 6, pages 1048–1055 (June 2020). doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000003592

Posted on RAND.org on January 29, 2021

by Laurent G. Glance, Karen Joynt Maddox, Karen C. Johnson, David R. Nerenz, David Cella, Bijan Borah, Joseph Kunisch, Paul Kurlansky, Jennifer Perloff, Michael A. Stoto, et al.

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Quality measurement is at the heart of efforts to achieve high-quality surgical and medical care at a lower cost. Without accurate quality measures, it is not possible to appropriately align incentives with quality. The aim of these National Quality Forum (NQF) guidelines is to provide measure developers and other stakeholders with guidance on the standards used by the NQF to evaluate the scientific acceptability of performance measures. Using a methodologically rigorous and transparent process for evaluating health care quality measures is the best insurance that alternative payment plans will truly reward and promote higher quality care. Performance measures need to be credible in order for physicians and hospitals to willingly partner with payers in efforts to improve population outcomes. Our goal in creating this position paper is to promote the transparency of NQF evaluations, improve the quality of performance measurements, and engage surgeons and all other stakeholders to work together to advance the science of performance measurement.

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