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Laura Grangaard Johnson Selected to Serve on CMS Technical Expert Panel for Reevaluation of Inpatient Claims-Based Outcome Measures

Published Monday, December 30, 2019

Laura Grangaard Johnson, MPH, senior research analyst at Stratis Health, was selected to serve on a national Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) technical expert panel (TEP) for the Reevaluation of Inpatient Claims-Based Outcome Measures. She brings subject matter expertise in rural critical access hospitals and quality measure development and evaluation, and experience working with claims data.

The TEP will inform refinement of risk models used for inpatient claims-based outcome measures that are currently publicly reported by hospitals.

Experience working in critical access hospitals was one area of subject matter expertise sought by the TEP lead, Yale New Haven Health Services Corporation – Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation. Stratis Health is one of the nation’s leading experts in rural health quality, which the organization currently advances through two programs funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP): the Rural Health Information and Technical Assistance (RHIT-TA) program (also known as Rural Health Value), since 2012, and the Rural Quality Improvement Technical Assistance (RQITA) program, since 2015. The RQITA program directly supports the 45 state Flex programs in their implementation of the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP), and the Flex programs in turn supports the nearly 1,350 critical access hospitals providing care to rural patients nationwide.

Grangaard Johnson provides analytic leadership to these rural quality initiatives, including use of claims-based hospital outcome data to gauge individual facility and state achievement of measures currently in public reporting. She works closely with CMS programs that incorporate claims-based measures, such as Hospital Value-based Purchasing (VBP) and the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, and responds directly to hospital questions on measures and program requirements. Her measure development work includes validation testing of the National Quality Forum Emergency Department Transfer Communication (EDTC) measures and testing a set of palliative care measures for rural relevance.