NQF board upholds endorsement for readmissions

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In a June 25 vote, the National Quality Forum (NQF) board of directors upheld a previous decision to endorse an all-cause hospitalwide readmission measure that was developed by both the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Yale University.

Measure #1789 attempts to estimate the hospital-level, risk-standardized rate of unplanned all-cause readmissions within 30 days of hospital discharge. The measure has previously been appealed by seven hospital systems, after they noted that the measure may not yet be “ready for prime-time.”

The NQF board of directors requested that the Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) convene to discuss the complex issues laced within the measure and also discuss how the measure will be used with other coordination of care methods. CMS agreed to defer the use of the measure until NQF’s requests are carried out.

“NQF greatly appreciates and takes to heart the comments and concerns raised throughout this project, both about the potential use of this new measure and how consensus was achieved,” Janet Corrigan, CEO and president of NQF, said in a release. “This current project shows that reaching consensus is difficult, but any process that balances multistakeholder interests yields important results.”

Previously, NQF released several steps that could address the concerns associated with this measure. These included having CMS conduct a dry run of the measure and report findings to NQF within one year.

The all-cause readmissions expedited review project was launched in October 2011 and its aim is to identify and endorse measures that would help to improve accountability and quality within the healthcare system.