Cutler Institute

Gale appointed to NQF Rural Health Expert Panel

John Gale, Research Associate in the Maine Rural Health Research Center at the USM Muskie School has been appointed to a National Quality Forum (NQF) multistakeholder panel to provide recommendations to the US Department of Health and Human Services regarding performance measurement issues for rural, low-volume providers, which include Critical Access Hospitals, Rural Health Clinics, Community Health Centers, and the clinicians who serve in these types of facilities.These providers often face unique issues, such as low payment volume and scarcity of resources that make measurement difficult. The Committee will consider how to mitigate these challenges in payment incentive programs for those providers; identify which measures are most appropriate for those programs; and recommend how future development resources are best directed to address particular measurement gaps areas.

An estimated 10% to 28% of Americans live in rural areas, millions of whom receive care from the above-mentioned providers. The Affordable Care Act calls for several new CMS pay-for-performance programs, including the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing program and the clinician-based Value-Based Payment Modifier (VBPM). Information is needed to inform the gradual integration of facilities and clinicians paid through alternative systems and those with low case volume into these or other Federal payment incentive programs, the aim of which is to improve the quality of care for people who are served by these providers.

John Gale's research focuses on Critical Access Hospitals and Rural Health Clinics and the delivery of primary care, behavioral health, and emergency medical services. His work is practical and concentrates on resources to support rural providers, improve their performance, and enhance access to care. He is a Senior Fellow with the American Hospital Association’s Health Research and Education Trust and a member of National Rural Health Association Board of Trustees. He also has extensive practice management experience with primary care and behavioral health practices.

To view the full panel roster and bios, click here