Across the nation, public and private payers are combining forces to encourage providers in a given health care market to deliver more efficient, higher quality care.  Multi-payer alignment can include payment policies, quality measurement, administrative practices, and data-sharing.

With support from the Milbank Memorial Fund, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) explored options for fast-track alignment by synchronizing quality measurement policies across purchasers. Uniform measurement approaches offer the potential to improve delivery system performance, with perhaps less effort and fewer regulatory issues than are involved in aligning payment practices. Aligning performance measures is particularly helpful to providers who often face multiple, sometimes conflicting, quality agendas from different purchasers. As such, this alignment pathway is beginning to receive attention from those pursuing State Innovation Models under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

This brief draws from the efforts of three state innovators — Maine, Vermont, and Wisconsin — to outline promising strategies for quality alignment across purchasers. The lessons can inform Medicaid and private purchasers in advancing a joint quality strategy.