The Statewide Quality Advisory Committee (SQAC) met on Monday, June 17th (see the meeting materials). The Committee is working to align health care performance metrics to promote uniform collection and reporting of a Standard Quality Measure Set in order to support improvement in the health status in Massachusetts. HCFA is a member of the Committee
At the meeting, Chair Áron Boros, Commissioner of the Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA), reported on his staff’s preliminary evaluations of 5 new HEDIS measures. One of the staff’s major concerns in evaluating the measures was insufficient sample sizes at Massachusetts primary care provider practices for 4 of the measures. These 4 measures look at screening and treatments (some related to diabetes or cardiovascular disease) for individuals with schizophrenia. Staff proposed downgrading their recommendation level from strong to moderate. Committee members expressed concern about downgrading the measures, seeing as how they relate to the SQAC’s goal of looking at behavioral health, especially the intersection of behavioral and physical health.
The discussion that followed these preliminary evaluations focused on “what is SQAC’s purpose” and “is the purpose of measures such as these to look at population health, in which case sample size would not be an issue, or to look at individual provider performance?” Above all, there are different uses for different measures and they are tools to engender conversation, so what should SQAC be working on?
Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP) discussed work they have been doing on Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) stakeholder outreach. Linda Shaughnessy, MHQP project director, delivered a presentation on PROMS as critical for ensuring patient- and family-centeredness and provider accountability for health outcomes. Discussion around these outcomes-based measures, which engage patients rather than the clinical process, are thought to be useful and valued by consumers. Committee staff evaluated a broad range of PROMs (and tools) available and recommended multiple measures be considered for evaluation and inclusion in the SQMS. There will be further discussion about PROMs after there is more discussion about goals and purpose.
The next meeting, currently scheduled for August 19th, will involve discussion about a framework for evaluating the proposed SQMS measures. Over the summer, the SQAC will solicit nominations to be considered for the Standard Quality Measure Set.