2018 Measure Development Plan Annual Report Released

On May 3, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2018 Measure Development Plan (MDP) Annual Report which describes progress in developing clinician quality measures to support the Quality Payment Program (QPP). This annual report, authorized by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), helps to inform and guide CMS and measure developers on progress and priorities for measure development.

Report Highlights

Key takeaways from the report are:

  • CMS identified the following goals for their measure development strategy:
    • Developing meaningful measures and reducing burden
    • Partnering with patients and families
    • Collaborating with clinicians
    • Improving the measure development process
    • Funding new measure development
  • CMS launched “Meaningful Measures” an initiative which identifies the highest priorities for quality measurement and improvement. This framework addresses 19 high-impact areas of focus for quality improvement and measure development. CMS indicates that it intends to remove measures for which performance is already very high or that are of low value while continuing to develop specialty-specific measures relevant to clinical practices.
  • CMS identified five additional specialties to target for future measure development to support the QPP: allergy/immunology; emergency medicine; neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and rheumatology. CMS will continue to work on addressing gaps for the seven specialties identified in 2017: general medicine/crosscutting; mental health/substance use conditions, oncology, orthopedic surgery, palliative care, pathology and radiology.
  • On March 2, 2018, CMS announced a funding opportunity for $30 million in grants to be awarded, beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2018, for quality measure development for the QPP.
  • During the past year, CMS engaged clinicians in quality and cost measure development activities through webinars and in-person educational offerings and by promoting opportunities for clinician participation in measure development.
  • CMS funded the development of 22 measures in 2017. Combined 2017 expenditures for measures applicable to the QPP were estimated at $3,361,556.

Future directions for the agency are to eliminate measures that no longer contributing to improved outcomes and enhance the measure portfolio with outcome measures and measure sets that will lead to better outcomes for patients.

For more information on the QPP visit the McDermottPlus MACRA Resource Center or contact Sheila Madhani at 202-204-1459 or smadhani@mcdermottplus.com.