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Aetna official explains success of quality benchmarks

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Andrew Baskin, M.D., Aetna’s national medical director, explains to FierceHealthPayer how the Core Quality Measure Collaborative’s  standardized set of quality benchmarks were achieved.

For one, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the National Quality Forum took a unique approach to developing the measures.

The news service paraphrased him as saying that said that  the  group began by creating measures “that served as a starting point, then in stages brought in representatives from the provider community, followed by purchasers and consumers, all of which contributed to designing the final sets of measures.”

He said that “one of the problems in the past has been when you put them all at the table right from the very beginning, it’s real hard to make progress.”

“The idea of bringing in the different stakeholders at stages–while some may have criticized that, saying everyone should have been at the table in the beginning–in reality I think it was one of the reasons that this was able to be successful.”

Dr. Baskin said that the other primary reason why this recent effort worked was the  rise of concepts such as value-based care, bundled payments and Accountable Care Organizations, all of which all require better quality measurement.

But, he cautioned, while introducing core measure sets is a positive step, many specialty practice areas still need their own quality benchmarks, and as more measures are developed for sets that are now “perhaps too small,” those must be added to the current sets.

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