Institute of Medicine Calls for Standardized Pediatric Quality Rules
The lack of a standardized system for measuring the quality of health care for children in the U.S. makes it difficult to collect data on the group, according to a report released Monday by the Institute of Medicine, National Journal reports (McCarthy, National Journal, 4/26).
The report was required by the reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program in 2009 (AHA News, 4/26).
Details of Report
For example, the report notes that Medicaid, CHIP and provisions in the federal health reform law all disagree on the age at which someone becomes an adult and do not share standard measures of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and parental English proficiency. The report recommends that HHS lead an effort to standardize these data sets.
The IOM report said the existing data are the result of "independent efforts that are largely uncoordinated and unrelated to each other. In many cases, data sets were designed for specific objectives without regard to how they fit within the larger landscape of child health measures" (National Journal, 4/26).
The committee made 10 recommendations to improve the health care system for children and adolescents, including:
- Creating a strategy for continuously improving the data system by identifying unnecessary or redundant measures and creating new measures;
- Linking data and research while resolving legal and ethical concerns about patient privacy and data sharing;
- Establishing a timetable for states to report to HHS on a core set of standardized measures that can be used in the health information technology infrastructure;
- Establishing measures of health conditions, levels of functioning and access to health care; and
- Improving transparency and timeliness in health care, education and social services (Clark, HealthLeaders Media, 4/27).
Denise Dougherty -- senior adviser for child health and quality improvement at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality -- said AHRQ and CMS on Tuesday launched an effort to develop standards for children's health care.
AHRQ awarded grants to several academic medical centers to develop the measures, which will be used by states to report on children enrolled in Medicaid. The effort also was mandated by the 2009 CHIP reauthorization, and the groups aim to complete the standards by 2015 (National Journal, 4/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.