The National Quality Forum is seeking public comments on its draft Healthcare Disparities and Cultural Competency Measures.  One essential step to improving the quality of healthcare performance is to eliminate disparities in care. Healthcare disparities may be exacerbated by many things including specific health conditions, differences in access to care, provider biases, poor patient-provider communication, and poor health literacy.  An integral understanding of healthcare disparities measurement is needed to create a long term agenda for improving healthcare quality for vulnerable populations and others adversely affected by disparities. By analyzing the effectiveness of quality measures already in place and identifying gaps, the National Quality Forum aims to establish a more detailed picture of how to approach measurement of healthcare disparities across settings and populations.

The National Quality Forum seeks to identify and endorse measures addressing healthcare disparities and cultural competency for public reporting/accountability and quality improvement applicable to all settings of care.  A 25-member Steering Committee representing a range of stakeholder perspectives was appointed to evaluate sixteen new measures against NQF’s measure evaluation criteria. The Steering Committee recommended twelve measures for endorsement:

  • 1888 Workforce development domain of Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit
  • 1901 Performance evaluation domain of Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit
  • 1905 Leadership commitment domain of Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit
  • 1892 Individual engagement domain of Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit
  • 1894 Cross-cultural communication domain of the Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit
  • 1896 Language services domain of Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit
  • 1898 Health literacy domain of Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit
  • 1902 Clinicians/Groups’ Health Literacy Practices Based on the CAHPS Item Set for Addressing Health Literacy
  • 1904 Clinician/Group’s Cultural Competence Based on the CAHPS® Cultural Competence Item Set
  • 1821 L2: Patients receiving language services supported by qualified language servcies providers
  •  1824 L1A: Screening for preferred spoken language for health care
  • 1919 Cultural Competency Implementation Measure

Public comments are due on May 9, 2012.

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