Quality measures are common tools used to assess various aspects of the delivery of health care and can be directly linked to physician payment through a variety of quality reporting programs. ASTRO is committed to supporting quality measures that are meaningful and relevant to radiation oncology practices through independent development efforts, and by working collaboratively with other medical societies. See a full list of ASTRO's quality measures.
Measure development at ASTRO operates under the Clinical Affairs and Quality Council (CAQC). The goal is to identify quality indicators and develop measures to address gaps in care and variation in treatment; to provide oversight on the use of measures and make recommendations about the use of measures in federal programs; to evaluate and make recommendations about the maintenance of measures.
Measure developers assess clinical practice statements and performance data to identify gaps in care. Measure concepts are vetted, prioritized and tested according to clinical importance, comprehensiveness and reliability and feasibility of reporting.
Development for the Veterans Affairs
In 2016, ASTRO was subcontracted to develop quality measures for the radiation oncology practices within the Veterans Health Administration. ASTRO organized disease-site expert panels to define quality measures and established scoring criteria for prostate cancer (intermediate and high risk), non-small cell lung cancer (IIIA/B stage), and small cell lung cancer (limited stage) case presentations. More information on this pilot program can be found in the publication, VA - Radiation Oncology Quality Surveillance Program.
In 2020, ASTRO was awarded a contract to continue the work of the pilot program, to develop measures related to head and neck, breast and rectal cancers. During this contract, ASTRO also updated the previous prostate quality measures based on current evidence and developed a set of harmonized measures applicable to all disease sites. As of 2022, additional publications are pending on each of these additional disease site projects.