The Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) issued a call for applicants for a new Health Equity Advisory Group. The MAP is a public-private partnership convened by the National Quality Forum (NQF) and CMS to provide input on the selection of performance measures for federal health programs. The Health Equity Advisory Group will provide input on the selection of measures for accountability programs from the Measurement Under Consideration (MUC) list with the goal of reducing health differences closely linked with social determinants of health. This non-voting body will include a diverse range of members, including patients, providers, and technical experts. The call for nominations closed July 28, 2021.
The initiation of this group represents another step towards formal consideration of health equity in federal payment programs. Additionally, CMS’s role as the largest national payer for care may establish standards to more fully integrate health equity in the use of performance measures for accountability purposes.
CMS already includes sociodemographic variables in quality performance risk adjustment as recommended in the CMS Measure Blueprint, and the addition of this new Advisory Group may expand consideration of health equity in quality measurement selection. Instead of adapting clinical quality measures to consider social risk factors, we may see promotion of measures that directly address social determinants, such as connection with social services.