What is a quality measure?

A measure is a tool that is able to give you information about how well your practice is doing in managing different areas of your patient’s treatment and care. It is able to look at a subset of your patient population (e.g., patients taking biologics, diagnosed with melanoma, etc.) and assess the quality of care they have received. 

This is done by assessing: 

  • Clinical processes: Are practices in place to ensure that the best quality of care is performed? 
  • Clinical outcomes: How successful are treatments and interventions in improving patient health outcomes? 

Why are measures important?

Measures are important because they collect meaningful data that can be used to inform ways health care delivery can be improved (e.g., better patient follow-up, decreasing overutilization of a service, etc.). They are also used for many value-based payment programs. Ultimately, measures show the true value of dermatology and the house of medicine. This is done in three distinct ways:

  1. Practice improvement – Providers are able to see how well they and other providers compare when administering care, assess trends, and pinpoint if/when something needs to be changed. Measurement also enables providers to make improvements to advance patient outcomes and search for causes when expectations aren’t met.

  2. Patient participation – Measures are increasingly becoming publicly available and patients are able to use the information to make informed decisions regarding their health and healthcare quality.

  3. Payment – Both the public (CMS' MIPS) and private sector (health plans that include tiers based on quality) use measures to influence reimbursement. Insurers and employers are following suit to determine if providers in their networks are delivering quality and cost effective care. 

What are the different types of measures?

There are two different categories of quality measures for reporting: MIPS measures and QCDR measures. Both can be used for MIPS reporting.

  1. MIPS measures are measures that are approved by CMS to be included in the Quality Payment Program (QQP). Each year, the MACRA final rule  specifies the dermatology specialty measure set. This measure set is not required for dermatologists to report, but labels high priority measures and those measures that dermatologists should be able to report on. Any eligible clinician is able to select these measures for use in MIPS.

  2. QCDR measures are measures that a medical specialty creates and are approved by CMS for reporting in MIPS. However, these QCDR measures are not available for everyone to report on. QCDR measures can only be reported on if you report through the QCDR that owns/licenses those measures. For the AAD, DataDerm is an approved QCDR that dermatologists can use to report dermatology-specific QCDR measures.

Within both of these categories, there are AAD measures, which are quality measures created and maintained by the AAD. 

Why does the AAD develop measures?

The AAD is working to expand the number and type of dermatology-specific measures available to dermatologists. Dermatology measures are needed to meet the reporting requirements for CMS' QQP. 

Measures are supported by the AAD’s QCDR-approved clinical registry DataDerm™, which can help members with the following:  

  • MIPS reporting 
  • Benchmarking
  • Development of quality improvement (QI) projects
  • Specialty advocacy