2016 CMS Quality Conference News & Announcements

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Image courtesy of AHRQ
Image courtesy of AHRQ

Several key announcements were made by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) leadership at the 2016 CMS Quality Conference. Here’s what you need to know.

Nationwide Efforts to Make Health Care Safer Continue to Pay Off

A new report released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality entitled National Scorecard on Rates of Hospital-Acquired Conditions shows the impactful results of federal efforts to improve patient safety from 2010 through 2015, specifically:

  • Approximately 125,000 lives saved
  • Over three million fewer adverse events due to a 21 percent reduction in hospital-acquired conditions
  • Over $28 billion in cost savings

Learn more about the data and results here.

CMS Releases Its Person and Family Engagement Strategy

Announced on December 13, CMS’ Person and Family Engagement Strategy creates the foundation for expanding awareness and practice of person and family engagement by providing specific, actionable goals and objectives. It is designed to serve as a guide for the implementation of person and family engagement principles and strategies throughout CMS programs, and was developed by the CMS intra-agency Person and Family Engagement Affinity Group, which included input from key stakeholders, including patient advocacy groups, associations, providers and caregivers

More information is available via this CMS Blog post.

Quality Payment Program Prepares for Launch

CMS also announced several specific goals for the new Quality Payment Program. CMS hopes to achieve 90 percent participation by eligible clinicians in the Quality Payment Program by the end of 2017 and have 25 percent of clinicians in advanced alternative payment models in 2018.

It was also noted that CMS is already ahead of its goal in getting 50 percent of payments through alternative payment models by the end of 2018.

Learn more about the Quality Payment Program here.

Million Hearts Makes Progress, Sets New 5-Year Goals

It was announced that by 2017, the Million Hearts initiative will have prevented more than half a million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. In addition, significant progress has been made in improving blood pressure control and reducing smoking. However, sodium consumption continues to remain high.

It was also announced that over the next five years, Million Hearts plans to accelerate its efforts, including:

  • Reducing sodium intake and tobacco usage
  • Promoting increased physical activity
  • Optimizing care using the ABCS (aspirin, when appropriate; blood pressure control; cholesterol management; smoking cessation)
  • Focusing on vulnerable populations

Learn more about Million Hearts.

CMS Provides Increased Transparency and Quality Information for Consumers

CMS announced important updates to the CMS Compare websites, including new websites for both Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs) and Long-Term Care Hospitals. In addition, national averages of the quality measure scores of Medicare-certified hospices will soon be available in the Hospice Data Directory at data.medicare.gov, and CMS will update the Hospital Compare website with refreshed measure data.

CMS will also be adding new quality data and other information to the Physician Compare website, as well as releasing a new user-focused redesign.

For more information, read this CMS Blog post.