FAQ Directory: Physician and Hospital Quality Certification

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11.15.2012 Measure reliability If a plan demonstrates a different methodology for statistical validity, would the methodology be considered?

Element C, Define Methodology requires the organization to have a method for determining measurement error and measure reliability. Element D, Adhere to Key Principles sets requirements for minimum observations or levels of measure reliability or confidence intervalsas applicable for quality and cost, resource use or utilization measures. For calculating measure reliability for PHQ, the organization must use the method described in the Explanation in Element C under the subhead Measurement Error. Measure reliability is defined as the ratio of the variance between physicians to the variance within one physician, plus the variance between physicians. NCQA does not prescribe the method used to calculate confidence intervals because the appropriate method may vary based on the parameter (e.g., mean or proportion).

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Noncompliant patients and physician ratings Has NCQA made recommendations or looked at the effect of noncompliant patients on physician ratings?

Although patient factors such as noncompliance may affect measure performance rates, an integral role of the physician is to work continuously with patients to educate them on the importance of a specific process or meeting a specific target/goal.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Board certification and physician quality Will NCQA accept board certification, maintenance of certification and NCQA Recognition as markers of physician quality, or must there also be measurement of NQF markers?

Board certification alone does not count as a quality measure. The organization may take action based on physician completion of an ABMS or AOA board performance-based improvement module (generally, in conjunction with maintenance of certification) at least every two years. These activities may be used as a quality measurement activity to meet PQ 1 Element A. Under certain circumstances, the organization may use measures from other national or regional performance-based designation programs to satisfy some or all requirements for PQ 1, Element A. The organization must discuss this in advance with NCQA to determine if the designation program meets the criteria.

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 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 Following Standardized Measure Specifications Does a program have to use the most recent version of a measure to count it as a standardized measure in Element A?

Yes. The organization must follow the most current measure specifications from the measure steward, even if the NQF endorsement has not been updated.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Applications for PHQ surveys How long after NCQA receives an application for survey does the survey begin?

NCQA suggests that organizations submit an application for survey at least 180 calendar days in advance of the date requested for their Initial Survey, but preferably applications will be submitted further in advance. Organizations should indicate their preferred survey date and NCQA will accommodate them if possible.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Changing measure specifications With regard to patient experience measures, may we use items from CAHPS-CG but change the referent time period? For example, not rating the last 12 months, but rating the last visit and changing the response categories accordingly?

No. Changing the referent time period materially alters the measure and would therefore not qualify as a standardized measure for Element A. Patient experience measures endorsed, developed or accepted by the NQF, AMA PCPI, national accreditors or government agencies may be used, but the organization must follow the measure or instrument specifications as written.

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 Must-Pass: PQ 1 Element A Is PHQ 1, Element A a must-pass element? If so, is the change permanent?

PHQ 1, Element A is a must-pass element at the 50 percent scoring level; this is a permanent change.

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 Certification for information providers May an information provider earn certification for the pieces it provides (e.g., standards, methodology, underlying data), while its customer (i.e., health plan that publishes the information) pursues other pieces (e.g., member communication and complaints, physician communication)?

No. PHQ consists of the specified certification options: Physician Quality (PQ), Hospital Quality (HQ), or both. Contact phq@ncqa.org to discuss your situation so we can consider additional survey options to meet market needs.

PHQ 2013