CMS unveiled new quality measures under consideration for nursing homes shortly before Christmas. While some previously implemented measures have been updated, there are several new measures focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, and vaccinations in healthcare settings.
The new measures under consideration, as outlined by CMS, include:
- Five outcome measures (measures that focus on the results of health care provided through Medicare), such as the rate of health care-associated infections requiring hospitalization for residents of skilled nursing facilities;
- Five process measures (measures that emphasize efforts to promote standardized best practices), such as conducting kidney health evaluations or implementing interventions for patients with pre-diabetes (the medical term for blood glucose levels that are high but not yet high enough for a type-2 diabetes diagnosis). Importantly, the 2020 list includes three process measures for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine. The measures under consideration list proposes looking at:
- Vaccination coverage among health care personnel,
- Vaccination by clinicians, and
- Vaccination coverage for patients in End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) facilities;
- Five cost/resource use measures (measures that evaluate how frequently health care items or services may be used, as well as how much they might cost) – including, for example, episode-based costs associated with addressing diabetes or asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
- Three composite measures (which summarize overall quality of care across multiple measures through the use of one value or piece of information); and
- Two patient reported outcomes measures (measures where the information comes directly from the patient).
All but three of the new measures depend on electronic data collection. The non-digital measures focus on assessing COVID-19 vaccinations in healthcare workers, and resident-reported health outcomes that gives residents a voice in their own care. CMS expects feedback from the Measure Applications Partnership by February 1, 2021.