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Monday 2:18 CST, February 19, 2018


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Performance measurement

August 19, 2015

The Joint Commission’s Top Performer program to take hiatus in 2016

The Joint Commission’s Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® program, in its current form, will go on hiatus in 2016 while The Joint Commission reevaluates the program to better fit the evolving national measurement environment.

The last two years have seen many changes in performance measurement. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) made significant changes to the performance measures in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting program, including the retirement of a number of chart-based measures.

The Joint Commission made many of these same changes to maintain alignment with CMS, and it introduced the Flexible Reporting Option in 2015 to respond to its customers’ requests that they be allowed to choose which measure sets to report. The Flexible Reporting Option also allowed hospitals to begin reporting electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs). The push for eCQMs will accelerate in 2016 when CMS will implement a requirement for hospitals to report at least four eCQMs. 

The Joint Commission’s Top Performer program utilized the results of a fixed set of designated accountability chart-based performance measures to compare performance and determine top hospitals.  But now, the retirement of some accountability measures, the heterogeneity of measure sets reported by hospitals and the fact that performance rates for eCQMs may not be equivalent to performance rates on chart-based measures make it very difficult to compare hospitals and identify top performers.

The Joint Commission remains committed to measures that meet its accountability criteria, which greatly increase the likelihood that patient outcomes will improve if hospitals achieve increased performance on the measures included in the Top Performer program.

In the interim, The Joint Commission will provide a program that continues to support its Top Performers, as well as those hospitals moving toward becoming a Top Performer. The details of this new program will be forthcoming this fall.

The key components of the 2016 programming will include:

  • Recognition categories
  • Education opportunities
  • An annual report
  • A strong focus on partnering with customers to provide the highest level of quality care for patients and their families

During the hiatus year, the ORYX flexible reporting options will remain in place with further details coming in early September. The hiatus does not affect the announcement of the 2015 Top Performers (based on 2014 ORYX data) scheduled to occur on Nov. 17. For additional questions, email

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