Wisconsin Collaborative for Quality Healthcare

Measurement & Quality Initiatives

Better Quality Information to Improve Care for Medicare Beneficiaries (BQI)
2006 — 2008

WCHQ served as one of six regional collaboratives participating in the Better Quality Information to Improve Care for Medicare Beneficiaries (BQI) Project. Launched by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and coordinated through the Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care, the BQI Project assessed the issues and benefits of combining Medicare and regional quality data to derive and report performance measures.

With assistance from the University of Wisconsin Centers for Health Systems Research and Analysis (CHSRA), WCHQ compared the claims-based Medicare data from CMS with clinical data for Medicare beneficiaries collected by Wisconsin physician groups within the WCHQ membership. It proved challenging to match the two data sets, in part because the CMS claims data could not be accurately attributed to specific practice groups.

WCHQ and CHSRA drew several conclusions from their work on the BQI Project. They identified that Medicare beneficiaries form a transient population, seeking care from many different healthcare providers per year. This mobility underscores the importance of promoting greater transferability of private health information between physician groups, in order to prevent redundancy in care.

WCHQ and CHSRA also identified the differing potential of Medicare claims data and WCHQ clinical data for performance measurement. Whereas Medicare claims data can only be used to assess healthcare processes, the clinical data from WCHQ physician groups can measure both processes and outcomes.

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