On November 21st, CMS announced the three health care quality organizations chosen to be the first participants in a new ACA-created Medicare fee for service claims data transparency program. The Kansas City Quality Improvement Consortium is on the list. Surely this is one of those prizes where it is a prize to be chosen but also a significant challenge.
For the first time, the Medicare fee for service data set will be mined for provider-specific quality reports for access by someone other than the providers and CMS itself. The goal of the program is to improve provider performance by integrating information from the Medicare fee for service data set with information available from private insurers as well as public data to produce comprehensive reports on provider performance.
Given that provider specific performance data from the fee for service Medicare data set is the holy grail of individual provider assessment, KCQIC (and the two other organizations chosen) have their work cut out for them -- responding to consumer clamor for more and more openly detailed data on provider quality on the one hand and responding to provider clamor for more and better systems for data privacy, security, and error correction on the other.
Why was KCQIC tapped? They've been threading this needle for several years already -- in a more modest way -- as grantees of the Robet Wood Johnson Foundation's Aligning Forces for Quality Project. Clearly, they relish a challenge.