Report offers improvements for PAC, LTC coordination
At the request of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Measure Applications Partnership (MAP), a public-private, multi-stakeholder group of healthcare leaders convened by the National Quality Forum, has submitted its recommendations on the improvement and coordination of care by post-acute care (PAC) and long-term care (LTC) providers.

Patients cared for by such providers, primarily people over age 65, often transition between sites of care—moving among their homes, hospitals and PAC and LTC providers as their health and functional status changes. These patients are particularly vulnerable and costly to the system, given their clinical complexity and the multiple transitions they endure. The report said that a coordinated performance measurement approach across these PAC and LTC providers—along with an enhanced capacity to use health IT resources—is imperative to meet the needs of the patients who depend on these services.

“As a generation of baby-boomers nearly 75 million strong approaches retirement, it is essential that we prepare for the increased needs to come,” said Elizabeth McGlynn, PhD, co-chair of the MAP Coordinating Committee. "Better and smarter quality measurement that places the needs of patients and their families at the forefront will help us identify ways to use healthcare resources more effectively and efficiently.”

The report includes the following MAP recommendations for HHS:

1. Define priorities and core measure concepts for PAC and LTC performance measurement to promote common measurement goals across providers.

2. Highlight the need for uniform data sources and use of health IT so that data can be collected once, in the least burdensome way, and be used for multiple patient-centric purposes.

3. Determine a pathway for improving the use of measures through filling priority measure gaps, developing standardized care planning tools and monitoring for unintended consequences.