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DQA works with University of Florida to test measures on pediatric oral health

November 19, 2012

By Kelly Soderlund, ADA News Staff

Dr. Rich
The Dental Quality Alliance selected at its meeting Nov. 2 the University of Florida Institute of Child Health Policy to test the validity of a starter set of measures on pediatric oral health.

Pediatric Oral Health Quality & Performance Measure Concept Set: Achieving Standardization & Alignment identifies concepts for administrative data sources, such as insurance claims and physical encounters with children, and potential concepts to use with electronic health records.

It’s a rigorous, data-based test to decide whether the measures truly indicate quality oral health care.

“The reason we do testing is because we want to make sure that the measures that we establish work,” said Dr. W. Ken Rich, who was elected DQA chair-elect at the Nov. 2 meeting.

“We want to make sure they’re viable, and we want to make sure they give us the information that we're asking for. If they don’t do that, then they’re not much good to us. Basically we want to push for a quality product that can be used by everybody that will be accepted universally.” The test will specifically analyze data from nearly 1 million children in Texas and Florida.

Dr. Mouden
It should be completed by June, and the DQA will submit validated measures for endorsement by the Pediatric Quality Measures Program and National Quality Forum in 2013.

“The work of the Institute for Child Health Policy can prove not only the feasibility of using the core set of measures developed by the DQA, but also determine the validity and reliability of claims-based data for quality measurement,” said Dr. Lynn Mouden, DQA consultant and chief dental officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“As the largest payer of children’s dental care in the country, CMS has certainly been pleased with the work of the DQA. I was a Medicaid dentist for many years. Now as the CMS chief dental officer, I get to work with the DQA as we move from what I once considered as quality of margins and occlusion to measures that will truly define quality in dental care for the country.”

More health care providers are moving toward an electronic health record system, and the DQA is no different.

The DQA convened its ad-hoc EHR committee to explore the feasibility of adapting DQA measures into e-measures.

The work is ongoing and is expected to result in recommendations for the role of the DQA in the realm of quality measures within EHRs.

Also at the Nov. 2 meeting, it was announced the DQA received a $49,000 grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to help support a conference in 2013 to engage a broad group of stakeholders at the grassroots level to improve knowledge and understanding of measurement for quality improvement.

The conference, scheduled for June 28-29, 2013, will help broaden the visibility of the DQA and its measures.

A regular DQA meeting is scheduled for July 18-19, 2013. For more information on the DQA, visit