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DQA approves first performance measures

August 19, 2013

By Kelly Soderlund, ADA News staff

Enhancing quality: Dr. Andy Vorassi, left, and Dr. Robert Mazzola, both members of the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs, listen July 19 at the Dental Quality Alliance meeting.
The Dental Quality Alliance approved its first set of performance measures in dentistry at its July meeting.

The set, Dental Caries in Children: Prevention and Disease Management, includes 10 tested and validated performance measures in oral health care. The measures are use of services, preventive services, treatment services, oral evaluation, topical fluoride intensity, sealant use in 6-9 years, sealant use in 10-14 years, care continuity, usual source of services, and per-member per-month cost. To view the measures, visit online.

“Since its formation in 2008, the DQA has worked tirelessly at developing these consensus-based quality measures,” said Dr. David May, chair of the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs. “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services came to the ADA with a charge, and by forming an alliance comprised of multiple stakeholders from across the oral health community, we've been able to collaborate on crafting the appropriate measures.”

The testing was, in part, funded through a grant from the American Dental Association Foundation.

“The ADA Foundation is very proud to be part of this significant effort to develop the first fully validated set of performance measures for dentistry,” said Dr. David Whiston, ADA Foundation president. “We believe it is consistent with our mission to help advance the quality of care for the good of patients.”

The DQA collaborated with the University of Florida Institute for Child Health Policy to evaluate and test the feasibility, validity, reliability and usability of each measure before issuing final approval. The data used to craft the measures came from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, Texas Health and Human Services Commission and DentaQuest.

The DQA is continuing to strive to engage with other agencies developing measures for oral health to become the recognized leader. The DQA meets twice each year and member organizations are required to send one representative to each meeting.

“As the only comprehensive multi-stakeholder collaborative, the DQA is well-positioned to collaborate, coordinate and lead in measure development in dentistry through its members' experience, expertise and support,” Dr. May said.

To learn more about the DQA, visit the website.