U-M takes leading role in project to improve children’s health care

October 7, 2016  //  FOUND IN: UMHS News

U-M is taking a lead role in improving pediatric health care quality in the U.S.

Michigan was named among six sites to receive a total of $13.4 million over four years to implement new pediatric quality measures to monitor and improve how the health care system is serving children and families. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the project this week.

“We are excited to be one of the six centers in the U.S. selected to continue our work in the testing and implementation of quality measures for the care of children,” said Michigan principal investigator Gary Freed, MD, MPH, founding director of the Child Health Evaluation and Research Center and professor of pediatrics at U-M’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

“This grant will allow us to work with certain Medicaid programs, health plans and health systems to improve the care for children with sickle cell disease and asthma, and to decrease unnecessary use of imaging studies for children with headaches and seizures.”

Michigan and the other five grantees will focus on implementing new pediatric quality measures developed by the Pediatric Quality Measures Program Centers of Excellence. Quality measures are used to evaluate or quantify specific health care processes, outcomes, patient perceptions or other factors related to health care delivery.

The grantees will focus on assessing the feasibility and usability of the new measures within the Medicaid and CHIP patient populations at the state, health plan and provider levels to support performance monitoring and quality improvement.

Michigan was among seven sites chosen by the federal government in 2011 for the initial phase of the PQMP project to develop new and innovative pediatric measures. Freed led the four-year, $8 million federal grant at Michigan that allowed U-M to develop more than 50 quality measures in pediatric care for children undergoing treatment for critical pediatric health issues, including sickle cell anemia, sepsis syndrome, obesity, radiologic imaging, chronic asthma management and access to services beyond primary care.

U-M’s Quality Measurement, Evaluation, Testing, Review and Implementation Consortium measures are among the very few pediatric quality measures in the country that have been tested for reliability and validity and have adequate specifications for implementation across payors, health plans, state Medicaid programs and regulatory bodies.

This next phase of work will implement and test these newly developed pediatric measures in real-world settings to learn more about how they work when used on the front lines of care.

The new effort is funded through the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which provided continued funding for the Pediatric Quality Measure Program to build knowledge and evidence to support performance monitoring and quality improvement for children in Medicaid and CHIP.

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