LTPAC providers need revamped performance measurement to improve quality

Long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) providers should adhere to a coordinated performance measurement that promotes quality improvement across the industry, according to new recommendations from the Measures Application Partnership.

In its report to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Measures Application Partnership also emphasized the use of health information technology resources to improve LTPAC coordination and quality.

“To promote care coordination and safety across multiple settings, payment incentives need to be aligned so that each setting shares the responsibility for improving transitions,” the report read. “The impending financial penalty for hospital readmissions adds urgency to the need for hospitals and [LTPAC] providers to share accountability for safe transitions.”

The Measures Application Partnership is a stakeholder group convened by the National Quality Forum representing 60 organizations in labor, healthcare and other organizations.

In its report, “Coordination Strategy for Post-Acute Care and Long-Term Care Performance Measurement,” the Measures Application Partnership recommends that HHS: 

●  define core measure concepts for LTPAC performance measurement to harmonize measurement and promote common goals across providers;

●  highlight the need for and use of uniform data sources and  health information technology so that data can be collected once, in the least burdensome way, and for multiple purposes; and

●  determine a pathway for improving measure applications through filling priority measure gaps, developing standardized care-planning tools and monitoring for unintended consequences.

The report identifies “high leverage” areas for performance measurement and core measure concepts for LTPAC providers, including: routine measurement of the functional, cognitive and mental health status of patients; experience of care; the number of falls, pressure ulcers and adverse drug events they experience; infection rates; avoidable readmissions; and the existence of care transition plans for every patient.

Aligning performance measurement across LTPAC providers will require “earnest effort” from both the public and private sectors, the Measures Application Partnership noted.

Topics: Regulatory Compliance