The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has contracted with the University of Michigan Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center (UM-KECC) to develop functional status quality measures for the End-Stage Renal Disease Program. UM-KECC said the purpose of the project is to develop measures that can be used to provide quality care to Medicare beneficiaries on dialysis. The project will require a Technical Expert Panelof approximately 9-13 individuals that would attend an in-person meeting in Baltimore, in addition to several pre- and post-meeting conference calls.

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Project objectives include:

  • To obtain expert knowledge and perspective regarding function assessment in other acute and post-acute care settings for which functional status assessment has been defined.
  • To obtain expert opinion on the appropriateness of currently available functional status assessment tools for use in the chronic dialysis setting and the need for revision or additional development of these tools prior to implementation in the dialysis care setting.
  • To consider opportunities to harmonize dialysis functional status tools and data elements with similar tools and data elements previously developed for other care settings.
  • If appropriate, develop specifications for draft functional status quality measure(s), including recommendations for data collection requirements, which will be used to facilitate the collection of the necessary elements for the development of a future outcome driven functional status measure. To identify any risk adjustment variables and the approach for risk-mix adjustment.
  • To review evidence supporting the measures’ scientific acceptability and importance in the community.

(CMS responds to queries about new measures in ESRD QIP rule)

The development process includes:

  • Identifying important quality goals related to a topic/condition or setting of focus.
  • Conducting literature reviews and grading evidence.
  • Evaluating existing quality measures
  • Defining and developing specifications for each quality measure.
  • Obtaining evaluation of proposed measures by technical expert panels.
  • Posting for public comment.
  • Testing measures for reliability, validity, and feasibility.
  • Refining measures, as needed.

Details about the measure development process can be found in the Measures Management System Blueprint at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/MMS/MeasuresManagementSystemBlueprint.html.

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TEP requirements
A TEP of approximately 9-13 individuals will attend an in-person meeting, in addition to several pre and post meeting conference calls. The TEP will be comprised of individuals who have demonstrated the following areas of expertise and perspectives relevant to the ESRD population:

  • Topic knowledge: Function improvement
  • Performance measurement
  • Quality improvement
  • Consumer perspective
  • Purchaser perspective
  • Health care disparities
  • Biostatistics

Potential TEP members must be aware that participation on the Technical Expert Panel is voluntary. As such, individuals wishing to participate on the TEP should understand that their input would be recorded in the meeting minutes. Proceedings of the TEP will be summarized in a report that is disclosed to the general public. If a participant has disclosed private, personal data by their own choice, then that material and those communications are not deemed to be covered by patient-provider confidentiality. If potential patient participants (only) wish to keep their names confidential, that request can be accommodated. Any questions about confidentiality will be answered by the TEP organizers.

All potential TEP members must disclose any current and past activities that may pose a potential conflict of interest for performing the tasks required of the TEP. All potential TEP members must also commit to the anticipated time frame needed to perform the functions of the TEP.

TEP expected time commitment

  • Two day in-person meeting, held over two days during the week of April 28 or May 5, 2014, in Baltimore
  • Additional telephone meetings (approximately 3) and consultations as needed, two to three hours each, February – June 2014.
  • Possible additional review of materials after June 2014.

TEP nomination:

Self-nominations are welcome. Third-party nominations must indicate that the individual has been contacted and is willing to serve.The due date for nominations is Jan. 31, 2014

The following information is required for TEP nomiation

  • A completed and signed TEP Nomination form.
  • A letter of interest (not to exceed two pages) highlighting experience/knowledge relevant to the expertise described above and involvement in measure development.
  • Curriculum vitae and/or list of relevant experience (e.g., publications); a maximum of 10 pages total.

The TEP nomination form is found in the Download section of this site: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/MMS/TechnicalExpertPanels.html

If you wish to nominate yourself or other individuals for consideration, send the completed nomination form along with your CV and letter of interest to  jmsto@umich.edu.