For purposes of activities conducted under this chapter, the Secretary shall identify and have in effect a contract with a consensus-based entity, such as the National Quality Forum, that meets the requirements described in subsection (c). Such contract shall provide that the entity will perform the duties described in subsection (b).
As soon as practicable after July 15, 2008, the Secretary shall enter into the first contract under paragraph (1).
A contract under paragraph (1) shall be for a period of 4 years (except as may be renewed after a subsequent bidding process).
Competitive procedures (as defined in section 132 of title 41) shall be used to enter into a contract under paragraph (1).
The entity shall establish and implement a process to ensure that measures endorsed under paragraph (2) are updated (or retired if obsolete) as new evidence is developed.
Data sets (such as the outcome and assessment information set for home health services and the minimum data set for skilled nursing facility services) that are used for purposes of classification systems used in establishing payment rates under this subchapter shall not be quality and efficiency measures described in this subparagraph.
In convening multi-stakeholder groups under subparagraph (A) with respect to the selection of quality and efficiency measures, the entity shall provide for an open and transparent process for the activities conducted pursuant to such convening.
In this paragraph, the term “multi-stakeholder group” means, with respect to a quality and efficiency measure, a voluntary collaborative of organizations representing a broad group of stakeholders interested in or affected by the use of such quality and efficiency measure.
The entity is a private nonprofit entity governed by a board.
With respect to matters related to the contract with the Secretary under subsection (a), the entity conducts its business in an open and transparent manner and provides the opportunity for public comment on its activities.
The entity operates as a voluntary consensus standards setting organization as defined for purposes of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (Public Law 104–113) and Office of Management and Budget Revised Circular A–119 (published in the Federal Register on February 10, 1998).
The entity has at least 4 years of experience in establishing national consensus standards.
If the entity requires a membership fee for participation in the functions of the entity, such fees shall be reasonable and adjusted based on the capacity of the potential member to pay the fee. In no case shall membership fees pose a barrier to the participation of individuals or groups with low or nominal resources to participate in the functions of the entity.