Committees to develop standard statewide measures of performance

In 2014, the Washington State Legislature passed ESHB 2572, which is a law relating to improving the effectiveness of health care purchasing and transforming the health care delivery system. A portion of this legislation (Section 6) relates to the development of a statewide core measure set. In response, the Washington Health Care Authority (HCA) with support from the Washington Health Alliance (the Alliance) is facilitating a Performance Measures Committee (the Committee) that is charged with recommending standard statewide measures of health performance by January 1, 2015.

It is intended that use of these measures will inform public and private health care purchasers, and will enable identification of benchmarks against which to track costs and improve health care outcomes. As part of this work, the Alliance is leading three technical work groups focusing on 1) prevention, 2) acute care, and 3) chronic illness care. Both the prevention and the chronic illness care domains are focusing on population or primary care-related measures, and the acute care domain is focusing on population, hospital and/or specialty care-related measures. Performance may be assessed at the medical group hospital, county or health plan level.

Each technical work group is charged with reviewing specific measures within their domain against the criteria selected and prioritized by the Committee during its initial meeting. Each of the three technical work groups is being asked to recommend approximately 15 measures that, among other selection criteria, can be measured with readily available health insurance claims or clinical data, and that have sufficient numerator and denominator size for each measure to produce valid and reliable results. The work groups may also recommend additional measures for future consideration, beyond implementation of the initial starter set.

Each work group has met twice, and expects to meet four more times between early August and early October. The HCA is posting high-level summaries of the technical workgroups’ meetings on their website.

The final, recommended measure set will be available later this fall for public comment and it is expected to be finalized in December.

For more information about the technical work groups, please contact Susie Dade at the Washington Health Alliance: sdade@wahealthalliance.org.

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Published: July 20, 2014

About Washington Health Alliance

The Washington Health Alliance is a place where stakeholders work collaboratively to transform Washington state’s health care system for the better. The Alliance brings together organizations that share a commitment to drive change in our health care system by offering a forum for critical conversation and aligned efforts by stakeholders: purchasers, providers, health plans, consumers and other health care partners. The Alliance believes strongly in transparency and offers trusted and credible reporting of progress on measures of health care quality and value. The Alliance is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit with more than 185 member organizations. A cornerstone of the Alliance's work is the Community Checkup, a report to the public comparing the performance of medical groups, hospitals and health plans and offering a community-level view on important measures of health care quality (www.wacommunitycheckup.org).

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