CMS Updates its Quality Strategy to Build a Better, Smarter, and Healthier Care Delivery System

On November 25th,  Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) shared their updated 2016 Quality Strategy. CMS’s goal is to shift Medicare payments from volume to value – tying 30 percent of traditional Medicare payments to alternative payment models and tying 85 percent of all traditional Medicare payments to quality or value – by the end of 2016. The goals will drive a healthcare system that delivers improved care, spends healthcare dollars more wisely, and one that makes our communities healthier.

The 2016 CMS Quality Strategy goals reflect the six priorities set out in the NQS and identify quality-focused objectives that CMS can drive or enable to further these goals:

  • Goal 1: Make care safer by reducing harm caused in the delivery of care.
  • Goal 2: Strengthen person and family engagement as partners in care.
  • Goal 3: Promote effective communication and coordination of care.
  • Goal 4: Promote effective prevention and treatment of chronic disease.
  • Goal 5: Work with communities to promote best practices of healthy living.
  • Goal 6: Make care affordable.

To meet these six goals CMS will:

  • Measure and publicly reporting providers’ quality performance and cost of services provided;
  • Provide technical assistance and foster learning networks for quality improvement;
  • Adopt evidence-based National Coverage Determinations;
  • Create incentives for quality and value;
  • Set standards for providers that support quality improvement; and
  • Create survey and certification processes that evaluate capacity for quality assurance and quality improvement

The CMS Quality Strategy guides the activities of all agency components working together toward transformation. It builds on the foundation of the CMS Strategy and the HHS National Quality Strategy for Improvement in Health Care (NQS). The National Quality Strategy was developed through a participatory, transparent, and collaborative process with input from a wide array of stakeholders, led by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and is updated annually in a report to Congress.