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Post-DQS Analysis – dQM Adoption Insights from Vendor Survey

In preparation for the DQS sessions in Track 2, I conducted an informal survey of a few HEDIS® certified vendors to gauge their readiness and adoption of digital quality measures. I asked six vendors ranging in size from very small to one of the largest, representing a total of 160 million reported lives a series of questions., it is important to note that the results are not representative of the entire vendor population. Even so, I believe the results allow us to get some idea of where the vendor community stands.

It is also important to note that the survey included questions specifically about digital quality measures as well as about interoperability. I did that because I consider the two inextricably connected for operationalizing dQMs. 

Two questions I asked were:

  • Does your current product include dQMs? 
  • Does your product roadmap include adoption of NCQA-published dQMs? 

I was surprised to learn that not all vendors had dQMs on their roadmap. Follow-up conversations with executives from those vendors made it clear that they don’t think they have enough actionable information about the overall transition to an all-dQM model. Absent that information, they said, there’s not enough justification for a significant investment. 

I’ve also heard a similar assessment from a couple payer executives: a complete, actionable roadmap toward an all-dQM model doesn’t exist and is essential for them and other stakeholders to take action towards a clear outcome.  

I agree with that assessment. Key components of such a roadmap should include:

  • A definition of the end state: What will an all-dQM collection will look like? When will the measures be available? When will they be mandated? 
  • A clear understanding of the measure evolution: Which measures will be implemented as is and which will change? Which measures will be discontinued and which new measures will be added? 
  • A clear plan for phasing out hybrid measures: This will be critical for vendors and health plans that must plan the transition for chart collection and abstraction operations.
  • A set of tools and services (from NCQA and the vendor community) to aid in planning and executing the transition. 

Obviously, this is just a starting point. Much more is needed and the DMC community can and should be working on this roadmap together. So, please comment and suggest what you would want to see in such a roadmap, what questions it should answer and what you may have to contribute. 

Community Questions: 

  • Do you have any suggestions for what the dQM roadmap should include? 
  • Do you have questions the dQM roadmap should answer? 
  • Do you have any ideas or work products that you would like to see as part of the roadmap?