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Rural quality takes a leap forward: NQF Rural Workgroup

NRHA is pleased that the National Quality Forum (NQF) announced the formation of a Measures Application Partnership (MAP) Rural Health Workgroup. This effort has long been a priority of NRHA. The Rural MAP workgroup will make recommendations to CMS on performance measures to improve the quality of care provided to those that live in rural areas. The Workgroup will also identify the best available measures to assess care and drive improvement in care delivered in rural areas, including but not limited to identifying measure gaps and provide recommendations regarding alignment and coordination of measurement efforts across programs, care settings, specialties, and the public and private sectors.

The movement from volume to value will continue. Essential to the merits of a value-based payment methodology is quality measurement. This point was made by NRHA during the development of the NQF Rural Health Report in 2015. This report called for CMS to recognize the importance of rural relevant measures as the foundation of value-based payment programs that are applied in rural communities. Otherwise, rural providers of care will be systematically disadvantaged. Not because of poor quality, but because the measures were misapplied in a small-volume, rural environment.

NQF will convene a Workgroup of no more than 25 members with expertise in the areas of rural health, program implementation, and quality measurement. Applications will be received by NQF for membership on this Workgroup until 6:00 pm ET September 29, 2017. NRHA applauds the creation of this Workgroup and will work to make it a successful MAP effort at NQF.

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