New malnutrition reporting measure available for reporting

by Stephen Riddle

The innovative Global Malnutrition Composite Score, approved by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), will empower providers to deliver higher-quality care to patients.

Hospital facilities will be able to improve the quality of care for patients with malnutrition and reduce hospital stays and costs by leveraging a new measure developed by our policy specialist consultants at Avalere Health and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The Global Malnutrition Composite Score, stewarded by the Academy and developed by Avalere, is the first nutrition-focused quality measure and the first composite electronic clinical quality measure in any CMS payment program.

CMS recently finalized its proposal to include the score in its Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program featured in the 2023 Inpatient Prospective Payment System Final Rule.

What is the Global Malnutrition Composite Score?

The score measures rates of nutrition screening, assessment by a registered dietitian nutritionist, malnutrition diagnosis by a physician, and nutrition care plan documentation. Measuring performance in this way can facilitate high-quality, comprehensive nutrition care that begins in the inpatient setting and can continue post-discharge.

“The Global Malnutrition Composite Score advances the treatment of patients with malnutrition, elevates the role of registered dietitian nutritionists in interdisciplinary healthcare teams and incentivizes health systems to provide the best level of care—all of which can shorten hospital stays and reduce readmissions,” said registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and Academy President Ellen R. Shanley.

The Academy and Avalere developed, tested, and fine-tuned the four components of the Global Malnutrition Composite Score through the Malnutrition Quality Improvement Initiative (MQii).

Avalere President Elizabeth Carpenter explained, “Malnutrition is a significant concern in the Medicare population, leading to increased readmissions, higher costs, and longer length of stay. Including this measure in the Hospital IQR Program may promote data collection and reporting and encourage providers to prioritize high-quality nutrition care in this vulnerable population.”

How will the score be used?

As part of the Hospital IQR Program, hospitals can elect to report on the Global Malnutrition Composite Score measures as one of their three voluntary, self-selected electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) beginning in 2024.

This will expand opportunities for hospitals to improve their malnutrition care performance and realize health, quality performance, and cost-reduction outcomes similar to those achieved by hospitals already tracking performance on the individual malnutrition care eCQMs through the MQii Learning Collaborative. Hospitals that elect to report on the measure to CMS can leverage existing MQii resources to support their quality improvement journeys.

What’s next for the partnership?

In the coming months, the Academy and Avalere will create and disseminate educational materials for clinicians and administrators to better understand this opportunity, enabling them to facilitate high-quality, comprehensive nutrition care.

Avalere Health and Fishawack Health

Avalere Health joined Fishawack Health in June 2022. The healthcare consulting firm operates at the intersection of policy, access, and transformation, relying on expansive proprietary data to derive insights and imagine what does not yet exist. Its customers span the healthcare continuum—including the top 25 life sciences companies, leading health plans, top healthcare providers, and healthcare investors. Find out how the Avalere team is integrating into our Group here.

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