MAP 2015 Pre-Rulemaking Quality Measure Recommendations Open for Comment

The Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) published a list of recommendations for the CMS List of Measures under Consideration (MUC) for 2015, as well as accompanying draft reports detailing MAP’s process, approach, and considerations. The MAP recommendations are open for public comment until January 13, 2015.


As part of the annual pre-rulemaking review process, the federal government asks MAP, a public-private entity created by the National Quality Forum (NQF), to make recommendations to HHS regarding the selection of quality measures for the federal health care programs. In December 2014, MAP published CMS’ annual MUC for 2015, in order to engage in a public review and determine which of the reporting and payment measures add value, improve patient outcomes, or bring greater efficiency to the health care programs. The MUC list and the pre-rulemaking measure selection process is mandated by Section 1890A(a)(2) of the Social Security Act (SSA), as added by Section 3014 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148).


The MAP reports detail the analysis algorithms that MAP used to evaluate the proposed quality measures. The measures were subjected to scrutiny by MAP staff through workgroup sessions, and by public comment. A key component of the MAP analysis was the early publication of the CMS measures so that stakeholders would be given an opportunity to comment on the measures and their perceived efficacy. The MAP recommendations were published alongside the MAP process and approach report. The accompanying spread sheet includes recommendations on individual measures and rationales for why MAP made the particular recommendations. MAP broke its recommendations down into several categories including: support, conditional support, do not support, encourage continued development, do not encourage further consideration, and insufficient information.

Measures that Matter

The reports include an explanation of how MAP is making progress by devoting attention to “measures that matter.” Specifically, MAP indicates that the MAP discussions and recommendations focus on particular quality measure characteristics “such as whether the measures assessed an important health issue (based on its prevalence, cost, or resulted in harm), addressed an opportunity for improvement in care quality or people’s health, or whether the measures had demonstrated an ability to change performance.” 


The MAP recommendations also include suggestions about how the measures might be implemented in specific federal programs and with specific types of providers. The recommendations stress the importance maintaining measures that help consumers make decisions about where to obtain the best quality and highest value health care. Additionally, the recommendations indicate that measures should be aligned across different programs so that consumers can make reasonable comparisons regarding providers in different settings that may provide comparable services.