RWJF Comment Letter to CMS on Quality Rating System

On January 21, 2014, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to a request for comment on the structure and measures for the Quality Rating System (QRS) that will apply to all health insurance plans in all marketplaces across the country beginning in 2016.

In her comments, RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., encouraged CMS to include, as part of the QRS, measures assessing health plan performance in a few additional areas other than what CMS has already incorporated.

First, we recommend that health plans be graded on how well they are engaging consumers in their care because research suggests that consumers that take an active role in decisions about their care have better health outcomes, and potentially even lower health care costs, than consumers who are less engaged.

Second, we suggest that CMS include reporting on population health metrics as part of the QRS. This will not only empower consumers with information on health outcomes but also motivate health plans to work together with entities outside the health care arena that have a tremendous influence on population health. Lastly, we encourage CMS to test the QRS with consumers to be sure they understand it and find it useful.