Comments on Care Transitions Measures Sent to the PCPI

— Heidi Sfiligoj, News Staff


NASW submitted comments on a Care Transitions Performance Measurement Set to the American Medical Association/Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (AMA/PCPI). NASW also issued a practice alert to members, encouraging those who work in health care settings to comment on care transitions measures which are being considered for use in transitions of care during discharges of patients from inpatient settings and emergency departments.

The AMA/PCPI released the care transitions measures for public comment from Feb. 13 to March 16. NASW submitted its comments on March 13.

The care transitions measures are an initial set of measures that concentrate on safe and effective transitions between care settings, especially from the inpatient setting or emergency department to the ambulatory setting or other sites of care.

The PCPI advises physicians, other health professionals, and healthcare systems, where appropriate, to use the measures to manage the transition of care for all patients, despite their age, discharged from an inpatient facility or emergency department to care in a post-acute inpatient facility or ambulatory care setting.

The measures are derived from evidence-based practice and address safe and effective transitions between care settings, as well as known gaps in care. The AMA/PCPI plans to address additional areas within care coordination in the future.

The measures were developed by a Care Transitions Work Group convened by the American Board of internal Medicine Foundation, the American College of Physicians, the Society of Hospital Medicine and the AMA/PCPI. NASW is a member of the group, which works to identify and define quality measures toward improving outcomes for patients undergoing transitions in care.

According to the executive summary in the Care Transitions Performance Measurement Set, gaps in care and high costs are the main reasons for prioritizing improvement in care transitions at this time.

Mirean Coleman, NASW senior policy associate, submitted NASW’s comments to the PCPI. She wrote, “On behalf of the National Association of Social Workers, the largest professional social work organization in the nation, we would like to thank the PCPI for the opportunity to provide comments on the Care Transitions Measurement Set. The measures are well-written, have excellent references, and reflect patients’ discharge needs in transitions of care to a variety of settings. Since social workers are one of the major discharge planners in hospital and emergency department settings, NASW recommends that social workers in these settings be included in any testing of the proposed measures.”