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  • Washington Highlights

    NQF Launches 3-Year Extension to Social Risk Trial

    Phoebe Ramsey, Director, Physician Payment & Quality

    The National Quality Forum (NQF) June 28 launched a three-year extension of its Social Risk Trial as part of NQF’s Health Equity Program. The initial trial began in 2015 and ended in August 2017. The extension will build upon the trial’s prior work examining the inclusion of social risk factors in risk adjustment models for quality measurement. It also will help inform a decision on whether to change permanently NQF’s policy to allow social risk adjustment for outcome measures.

    All measures submitted to NQF for endorsement will be considered part of the Social Risk Trial, beginning with measures evaluated under the Fall 2017 Consensus Development Process (CDP) Cycle and will conclude in 2021. The public can track the review of these measures through the Measures List on the Trial’s NQF project page, which will be updated with each semi-annual cycle. Additionally, NQF will begin collecting more information from measure developers to support the Standing Committee’s review of risk adjustment model as part of the measure endorsement process. NQF also will provide stakeholders with the opportunity to provide input into the review and appropriateness of measures.

    Philip Alberti, AAMC Senior Director for Health Equity Research and Policy, serves as a member of NQF’s Disparities Standing Committee that will provide guidance on the trial and input to ensure that risk adjustment will not worsen healthcare disparities. The NQF Scientific Methods Panel will provide guidance on the challenges with and appropriateness of risk adjustment methods when reviewing measures. The Standing Committees will continue to make recommendations for measure endorsement and will consider the conceptual and empirical bases to risk adjust for social risk factors.