Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius recently approved the use of seven common core indicators for monitoring HHS-funded HIV prevention, treatment, and care services. What are these indicators and what are the next steps in this effort?
Last month, we reported that the Secretary had directed leaders of HIV/AIDS services programs within the Department of Health and Human Services to develop and implement common, core indicators for monitoring HIV programs and services; streamline related data collection; and reduce undue reporting burden on HIV services grantees. We’re pleased to announce that Phase I of this multi-phase effort is now complete.
On July 24, 2012, Secretary Sebelius approved a package of seven common core indicators that were generated following multiple consultations with a group of federal and non-federal stakeholders and that are consistent both with the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations for monitoring HIV services and indicators deployed by the National Quality Forum (NQF) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
These new HHS common HIV indicators, which were informed by relevant treatment guidelines and empirical evidence, include the following:
It is noteworthy that several of the proposed indicators have been submitted for National Quality Forum endorsement and may be adjusted slightly during this process in order to achieve consistency across HHS and key consensus development groups.
“The approval of these seven common core indicators by the Secretary is an important milestone in our efforts to respond to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy’s call to standardize data collection and grantee reporting requirements for federal HIV programs,” commented Dr. Ronald Valdiserri, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases. “These common core HIV program indicators will facilitate our efforts to monitor and report on progress toward achieving the Strategy’s goals and we are grateful to the strong support of leaders across HHS agencies for coming together to make this happen.”
Many will recall that developing common core indicators represents only Phase 1 of an ambitious, cross-agency effort to streamline data collection and simplify administration of HHS HIV services grants. Phase II, which officially launched in mid-July, will entail the development of operational plans by HHS agencies that support HIV services to implement these core indicators across their funding programs, as well as the identification of strategies to streamline data collection from grantees and reduce undue grantee reporting burden by at least 20–25%. This will require ongoing engagement of federal and non-federal stakeholders and will culminate in the completion of these planning documents by mid-October 2012. After this time, key HHS agencies will transition to Phase III, when they’ll address the implementation challenges anticipated and pave the way for achieving the goals of reducing red tape while improving the delivery of HIV services in the U.S. Full deployment of all these streamlining activities is anticipated by the start of Fiscal Year 2014.