NCQA and the National Quality Forum (NQF) share a similar mission: Use measurement to improve quality and performance and lower the cost of care. We’ve also worked together for years, so it made sense for us to join “Friends of NQF”—a coalition of organizations that support NQF’s work to improve the nation’s health care. As part of our first act as a member of Friends of NQF, NCQA joined other public and private organizations urging Congress to continue NQF’s funding.
Historically, support from the Medicare Trust Fund helps NQF advance the quality agenda across the nation, including 57 million Medicare beneficiaries. A drop in funding would significantly reduce the quality of health care for millions of Americans.
You might know that NQF is a private, nonpartisan, independent organization that relies on stakeholders to continue its work. NQF works closely with CMS by convening panels that endorse measures, recommend measures for use in federal programs and suggesting areas where programs can eliminate less-effective measures and instead, use measures that matter.
NCQA & NQF
When NCQA develops a measure, we rely on input from clinical experts, payers, consumers and policy makers to help us translate what science says works best into measures of quality. When NQF endorses a measure, it builds consensus across similar stakeholders that establishes the measure as a national standard for use. We often are asked how NCQA & NQF differ– we develop measures and implement them, they have a consensus based process to vet and endorse measures submitted to them. Sixty-six of our measures are endorsed by NQF; the most by any non-federal entity.
NQF Needs Our Help
NCQA has always said, “What gets measured gets improved.” NQF provides the needed framework, criteria, and expertise to help everyone engaged in the quality enterprise move in the same direction. NQF influences the bottom line of improving the quality of health care. We’re happy to have signed this letter, and we know Congress will do the right thing and approve funding for NQF.
Read the full letter below.
Amy Maciejowski is a Program Manager for State Affairs at NCQA. She supports NCQA’s work with state legislators and regulators. Amy holds a master’s degree in Political Communications from American University.