KY Core Measures Set Reflects Diversity of Thought, Collaboration

This week, I listened to a recent episode of one of my favorite podcasts, NPR’s Hidden Brain, which explores the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior. This particular episode was about research that suggests that assembling people into groups that are diverse produces more creative results.

As I listened to the episode, I thought of the Kentucky Performance Alignment Committee (PMAC), the measures alignment initiative the KHC led with the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services. Consisting of more than 70 experts from across the Commonwealth of Kentucky, there was no shortage of diversity in the oversight committee and four subcommittees.

I think our results reflect that diversity.

The final core measures set includes 32 unique measures, focused in the areas of prevention, pediatrics, chronic and acute care management, behavioral health, and cost/utilization. The PMAC team includes expert volunteers from varying backgrounds and geographic regions. These various stakeholders, some of which have competing priorities, have spent the last several months engaging in consensus-based discussions, often coming to some surprising agreements. Because we created a “limited” set, to reduce complexity and improve focus, committee members had to make tough decisions to select only the measures that have significant impact.

Many of the measures are ones that anyone with a healthcare measurement background would quickly recognize. But our PMAC committee also chose a few “stretch measures” that might have a few more challenges to them but ultimately are important to impacting the health of Kentuckians. One or two of these measures I thought for sure would get thrown out early in the process, but I think were included as a direct result of getting diverse minds at the same table, which elevated the results. I’m proud of our core set of measures, and I hope that PMAC members feel the same way.

I was also struck by the enthusiasm and passion that was exhibited by PMAC members. Each of the members answered questions about their interest and involvement in healthcare measurement as part of the application process. I am inspired and humbled by some of their responses, which reflect their commitment to healthcare quality in the Commonwealth.

PMAC members will be sharing their own reflections in upcoming weeks. We have already published a piece by Michael Hagen, MD, about his experience serving on PMAC.

I’m excited for the next steps in this initiative: selecting a community-level opioid measure, securing letters of support, and establishing an ongoing review process.