Guiding principles and checklist for population-based quality metrics

Mahesh Krishnan, Steven M. Brunelli, Franklin W. Maddux, Thomas F. Parker, Douglas Johnson, Allen R. Nissenson, Allan Collins, Eduardo Lacson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services oversees the ESRD Quality Incentive Program to ensure that the highest quality of health care is provided by outpatient dialysis facilities that treat patientswith ESRD. To that end, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services uses clinical performance measures to evaluate quality of care under a pay-for-performance or value-based purchasing model. Now more than ever, the ESRD therapeutic area serves as the vanguard of health care delivery. By translating medical evidence into clinical performance measures, the ESRD Prospective Payment System became the first disease-specific sector using the payfor- performancemodel. Amajor challenge for the creation and implementation of clinical performancemeasures is the adjustments that are necessary to transition from taking care of individual patients to managing the care of patient populations. The National Quality Forum and others have developed effective and appropriate population-based clinical performancemeasures quality metrics that can be aggregated at the physician, hospital, dialysis facility, nursing home, or surgery center level. Clinical performance measures considered for endorsement by theNational Quality Forumare evaluated using five key criteria: evidence, performance gap, and priority (impact); reliability; validity; feasibility; and usability and use. We have developed a checklist of special considerations for clinical performance measure development according to these National Quality Forum criteria. Although the checklist is focused on ESRD, it could also have broad application to chronic disease states, where health care delivery organizations seek to enhance quality, safety, and efficiency of their services. Clinical performance measures are likely to become the norm for tracking performance for health care insurers. Thus, it is critical that the methodologies used to develop such metrics serve the payer and the provider and most importantly, reflect what represents the best care to improve patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1124-1131
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 by the American Society of Nephrology.


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