FAQ Directory: Physician and Hospital Quality Certification

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5.15.2013 Pay-for-performance Program If our organization displays information about our pay-for-performance program but does not display physician performance information for this program, how does NCQA score PQ 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D and 4B?

PQ 3A factors 3-5 and PQ 3B are scored NA if the organization does not display physician performance information for the pay-for-performance program.

PQ 3 C and D are scored against the pay-for-performance requirements if the organization has one complaint process for all programs. If the organizations complaint process is program-specific, PQ 3C and D are scored NA for the pay-for-performance program. NCQA scores PQ 4B factor 1 and the customer portion of factor 4 NA for the pay-for-performance program.

Because there is no NA scoring option in PQ 3B, 3C and 4B, these requirements are scored yes for pay-for-performance programs described above until the NA scoring option is added during the 7/29 release of the ISS tool.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Methodology for evaluation of cost measures What constitutes an acceptable methodological approach to evaluation of cost?

NCQA does not prescribe the cost measures an organization selects, though it requires an organization to specify all aspects of its methodology (Element C). In addition, the organization must risk-adjust its measures (Element C, factor 8) and must meet the minimum statistical requirements for measurement error and measure reliability (PQ1 Element D, factor 2).

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Cost, resource use or utilization measures Are there standardized measures for cost, resource use or utilization? If there are none, what measures are plans using?

At this time, there are no standardized (i.e., endorsed) measures of cost, resource use or utilization at the physician level.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Pricing for Derivative Programs How does NCQA determine which pricing tier it places a derivative product in?

NCQA prices a program and any programs it qualifies as derivative programs using the pricing tier that includes the total number of physicians measured in all the programs an organization brings forward. No individual physician is counted more than once for the purposes of determining which pricing tier is used, but the total of all physicians in all programs determines the tier used for every program.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Use of patient experience data collected from external organizations Is the use of patient experience data considered part of the program in the following circumstances: 1. The organization incorporates third-party performance information data with its own and then takes action on it (i.e., integrates the third-party data with its own to develop a composite that it reports or uses as the basis of action, such as payment or network or benefit design) 2. The organization provides a link for members on a third-party site so the member can review that information?

For scenario 1, the data must be considered as part of the program being reviewed for PHQ because the organization has incorporated the data with its own or tailored the data and then used the data as a basis for its own action (e.g., reporting, payment or network or benefit design). For scenario 2, if _ as part of its program _ the organization simply provides a link to an external source of performance information on physicians without altering that data and represents it as such, and the organization does not take any action based on the data (e.g., pay any incentive or use data for network or benefit design) then it is not considered part of the program.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Patient experience measures Do the results of Patient Experience of Care surveys, using questions derived from CAHPS-CG, have a role in the evaluation of physician quality?

Yes. Patient experience measures are considered measures of quality. The organization may use items or composites from the CAHPS-CG survey. Measure specifications for the CAHPS-CG survey can be found on the AHRQ website (https://cahps.ahrq.gov/clinician_group/).

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Physician requests For PQ 2 Element C, could a collaborative manage the process?

Yes. PHQ requirements do not prohibit a collaborative from managing a request for corrections or changes made by physicians, but the organization remains accountable and responsible for responding to complaints from consumers and to requests for changes from physicians or hospitals based on actions taken by the organization.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Complaints The concept of "member complaints" pertains to health plans only, but not necessarily to Web sites or collaboratives. How does NCQA evaluate for those entities?

Though an organization may not have members in the way a health plan does, Web sites have users or consumers who might want to submit complaints (e.g., user complaints). Therefore, to meet the intent of Elements C and D, an organization must have policies and procedures to process, register and respond to consumer complaints; and must provide a documented process and evidence for how it handled those complaints.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Relative Resource Use (RRU) Measures Are HEDIS RRU measures appropriate for PQ 1 Element B?

No. HEDIS RRU measures are specified for assessment at the plan level, not for measurement of individual physician performance.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Requests for corrections or changes Are organizations responsible for confirming the factors in Element F, or is this the responsibility of an external vendor?

For Element F, the organization must demonstrate that it has a process to verify that it has followed the specifications outlined in Element C (e.g., sample sizes, attribution, statistical validity). If the organization uses a vendor to administer the survey, this process may be performed by the vendor, but documentation demonstrating how the element is met must be included for the PHQ Survey.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Requests for corrections or changes For PQ2: Elements B and C, how can patient experience of care data corrected, when this information is not disclosed to physicians?

The plan is not required to disclose member-specific results, nor is it expected that a physician can correct member responses. At a minimum, the physician must be given the methodology (e.g., sampling, attribution) and survey questions and, upon request, be allowed to confirm that the patients in the universe from which the sample was drawn are his or her patients, given the methodology.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Collaborative data Must organizations include collaborative data for certification?

If the organization is seeking certification on a program that is part of a collaborative, those measures must be included.

PHQ 2013