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NCQA Project Promotes Patient-Centered, Quality Care

The Person-Driven Outcome Measures Project aims to improve care quality and encourage patient-centered care by focusing on older individuals’ personal goals.

NCQA project promotes patient-centered, quality care

Source: Thinkstock

By Jessica Kent

- The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recently announced that it will launch the Person-Driven Outcome Measures Project, an endeavor to enhance care quality and promote patient-centered care by helping older individuals with complex health needs achieve their goals.

Funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation and the SCAN Foundation, the demonstration project will take place over the next three years and include more than 800 participants.

“In order to achieve truly person-centered care, we have to incorporate what matters most to older adults into every health care conversation,” said Bruce Chernof, MD, President & CEO of The SCAN Foundation.

“This project will show how health systems can ask what matters in a sustainable way, and the value this knowledge brings to both provider-person interactions and the overall quality of care.”

NCQA will work with four geographically diverse organizations, including Priority Health in Michigan, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Community Health Plan of Washington, and MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital Center for Successful Aging in Maryland.

The organizations are a mix of health plans and integrated care networks as well as physicians, social workers, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses.

In a pilot study also funded by the two foundations, NCQA developed an approach to collect person-driven outcomes using individualized and standardized person-reported outcome measures to track care goals over time.

The pilot study found that the person-driven approach was viable and beneficial to discussions about care planning for both provider and patients.

Patients reported feeling more motivated to achieve their goals; providers, having learned about new goals that could boost patient engagement. The pilot study demonstrated the significance of having specific care plans and a system in place to follow up and revise these plans as necessary.

The Person-Driven Outcome Measures Project will aim to more fully test these approaches across organizations and demonstrate the importance of quality measures resulting from the use of person-driven outcomes.

“By streamlining and focusing quality measures – and all of health care – on what truly matters to older adults living with complex conditions, we can achieve better outcomes and greater value for payers, providers, and older patients and their families,” said Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, president, The John A. Hartford Foundation.

This project aligns with the SCAN Foundation’s What Matters Most: Essential Attributes of a High-Quality System of Care for Adults with Complex Care Needs, a document published in September 2016. It defines four essential features that can help healthcare organizations deliver quality care to older adults with complex health needs.

The Person-Driven Outcome Measures Project also builds on the John A. Hartford Foundation’s Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative, which seeks to know and act on older adults’ specific health goals and care preferences, reduce patient harm, and improve care satisfaction.

The initiative was launched in 2017 in partnership with the American Hospital Association and five health systems representing more than 30 states.

With the launch of the Person-Driven Outcome Measures Project, NCQA expects to capture what is most important to patients, promote patient-centered care, and help older individuals achieve their goals.

“Most everyone agrees individuals’ priorities and health goals should guide their care,” said Margaret E. O’Kane, NCQA president. “Are people more concerned about lowering their A1C levels or walking to the corner market? Would they rather see improvement in BMI or be able to spend more time with a loved one?”

“Existing quality measures do not effectively evaluate what is most important to people, particularly older adults with complex care needs, and we hope to change that.”

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