Thursday, May 12, 2005

AHRQ - Ambulatory Performance Measures "Major Step" in Improving Quality of Health Care

Broad-based Coalition Reaches Consensus on "Starter Set" for Physicians

In a major step toward improving the quality of the U.S. health care system, the Ambulatory care Quality Alliance (AQA) has selected a "starter set" of 26 clinical performance measures for the ambulatory care setting. The starter set of measures is intended to provide clinicians, consumers and purchasers with a set of quality indicators that may be utilized for quality improvement, public reporting and pay for performance programs.
The measures in the starter set will lead to a uniform set of measures for ambulatory care that can focus quality efforts and give consumers data they need to make more informed health care decisions. The starter set of measures may be incorporated into performance-based payments as early as next year.
This approach is similar to the Hospital Quality Alliance that has involved a broad array of stakeholders with the goal of producing a standardized set of measures for inpatient care. Select for background on the 26 measures proposed (PDF file, 25 KB) and for more information on the ambulatory care starter set (PDF file, 19 KB).