Joint Commission, CMS to Make Common Performance Measures Identical

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced the signing of an agreement to work together in completely aligning current and future common Hospital Quality Measures in their condition-specific performance measure sets.  The current Hospital Quality Measures are included in the Joint Commissions ORYX® Core Measures and CMS 7th Scope of Work Quality of Care Measures on heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical infection prevention.

CMS and the Joint Commission released and made available on their websites a common measures specification manual, which includes a data dictionary, measure information forms, algorithms and other technical support information. The specification manual can be found on the Joint Commission website at:


The intent is to achieve full alignment of common measures by the time that data for January patient discharges begin.


The intended measure alignment will make it easier and less costly for hospitals to comply with existing CMS and Joint Commission requirements for data collection and reporting.  The measures in the four Joint Commission and CMS hospital measure sets presently in use calculate the same way, but there are differences in the format of the specifications for data elements, types of cases excluded, calculation algorithms, and other measure dimensions.


There is obviously great value in creating a common performance measurement framework for hospitals and other types of health care organizations, says Dennis S. OLeary, MD, president of the Joint Commission. We are committed to making sure that measure alignment is not only achieved, but also is maintained over time as new measure sets are developed and introduced.


CMS and the Joint Commission are making it easier for hospitals to report on the quality of their services, making it even easier for beneficiaries to make apples-to-apples comparisons, says Mark B. McClellan, MD, PhD, administrator of CMS. This leads to improvements in the quality of care available in all hospitals.


Core measures are an integral component of efforts by CMS and the Joint Commission to improve the quality of care provided to hospital patients and bring value to stakeholders by focusing on the actual results of care.  All of the hospital measure sets currently being used by the Joint Commission and CMS have been reviewed and endorsed by the National Quality Forum.  The public availability of core measure data also permits user comparisons of hospital performance at the state and national levels.


Source: Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations