Only one quality measure for SNFs under new CMS proposal

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The measure pertains to discharge surveys for short-stay SNF residents.
The measure pertains to discharge surveys for short-stay SNF residents.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services unveiled a shorter-than-usual list of potential Medicare quality measures last week, with only one aimed at skilled nursing providers.

CMS' list of measures under consideration for 2018 rulemaking clocks in at 32 — down from the nearly 100 included in last year's proposed list under the Obama administration. The pared-down list is believed to reflect new CMS administrator Seema Verma's promises to cut down on burdensome healthcare regulations. A total of 184 measures were originally considered for this year's lineup before being whittled down to 32, CMS officials said.

For nursing homes, there is a single measure under the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program: the American Health Care Association's CoreQ measure for short-stay discharges. The measure includes a discharge questionnaire, and would calculate the percentage of residents discharged within 100 days of nursing home admission who were satisfied with their care.

The discharge questionnaire covers four questions regarding how the resident would recommend the facility to family and friends, how they would rate the staff, how they would rate the care, and how well they perceived their discharge needs to be met.

“The CoreQ: Short Stay Discharge questionnaire can strategically help nursing facilities achieve organizational excellence and provide high quality care by being a tool that targets a unique and growing patient population,” the CMS listing reads. 

The measures on the list, which has been sent to the National Quality Forum for consideration, are “focused on the most critical, highly impactful areas for improvement while reducing the burden of quality reporting on all providers,” CMS Chief Medical Officer Kate Goodrich, M.D., MHS, said in a blog post published Thursday.

“This year, approximately 40% of measures on the MUC list are outcome measures, including patient-reported outcome measures, which will help empower patients to make decisions about their own healthcare and help clinicians to make continuous improvements in the care provided,” Goodrich wrote.