$30 Million in Funding for QPP Measure Development With CMS Cooperative Agreement

quality measure cooperative agreements

Have you heard about the CMS program to partner with stakeholders to improve quality measures in the MACRA Quality Payment Program (QPP)? Up to $30 million in funding and assistance is involved over three years.

Here Are the Target Groups and Goals

A blog post from CMS describes this measure development funding opportunity. Developing, improving, updating, and expanding quality measures are all included. CMS indicates potential partnerships with clinical specialty societies and professional organizations, patient advocacy organizations, education and research organizations, and health systems.

The stated goal is to “leverage the unique perspectives and expertise” of clinicians and patients so that measures address issues like:

  • clinician engagement
  • efficient data collection for burden minimization
  • consumer-informed decisions
  • critical measure gaps
  • quality measure alignment.

Get a Handle on Top Priority Areas Before You Apply

If you’re interested, be sure to check out the CMS Quality Measure Development Plan because CMS states that the measures connected with the cooperative agreements will align with that plan, which aims to fill clinician and specialty measure gaps.

Priority areas listed in the blog post include:

  • affordable care
  • care coordination
  • clinical care
  • patient and caregiver experience
  • population health and prevention.

The blog post also lists the following gap areas, but stresses the list isn’t exhaustive:

  • emergency medicine
  • mental health and substance use conditions
  • oncology
  • orthopedic surgery
  • palliative care
  • pathology.

You’ll also want to review the Meaningful Measurement framework if you’re going to participate. It will help you understand what’s viewed as the highest priorities.

At the end of the CMS post, there’s a point that’s easy to forget when dealing with the red tape. Including the patient perspective should help lead to better patient outcomes.

That’s why, according to CMS, these areas are priorities:

  • appropriate use of services measures, including measures of overuse
  • care coordination measures
  • outcome measures, including patient reported outcome and functional status measures
  • patient experience measures.

Head to These Sites for More Information

If you want to learn more, CMS instructs you to search Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) Funding Opportunity: Measure Development for the Quality Payment Program on Grants.gov (I found it using just the search term MACRA on that site). You also can head to this MACRA, MIPs, and APMs site. The closing date listed on Grants.gov is May 2, 2018, and the award ceiling is $6 million out of the estimated total program funding of $30 million.

What About You?

What would you change about quality measures? Would you like to see one added? Would you like to see data collection done differently? If you’ve been on the patient side of things, what would you recommend?


Deborah works on a wide range of TCI SuperCoder projects, researching and writing about coding, as well as assisting with data updates and tool development for our online coding solutions. Since joining TCI in 2004, she’s covered the ins and outs of coding for radiology, cardiology, oncology and hematology, orthopedics, audiology, and more.

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