Jump to the webinar MA Child Health Quality Coalition: Where are we now? What's next?

The Massachusetts Child Health Quality Coalition

The mission of the Massachusetts Child Health Quality Coalition (CHQC) is to champion and advocate for improved child health quality and measurement in Massachusetts. An innovative, public-private partnership, the CHQC is a neutral convener of a broad set of stakeholders including primary care and specialist providers, parent and family advocates, hospitals, health plans, health professional groups, state and local agencies, community organizations, and policy experts. The CHQC’s goals are to develop a shared understanding of pediatric health quality priorities in Massachusetts and facilitate sustainable gains in child health outcomes and in the health care system.


  • Promote improvements in health care outcomes for children in Massachusetts by developing consensus around priorities for action and supporting the implementation of activities in those priority areas;
  • Advocate for inclusion of child health issues in broader statewide activities;
  • Provide direction on the development of new measures to evaluate and track progress related to children’s health care;
  • Create synergies among existing child health measurement and improvement activities to increase impact;
  • Develop and implement plans to ensure the CHQC’s long term sustainability.

Action Agenda

The CHQC’s action agenda was developed after a gap analysis incorporating data and qualitative evidence, an environmental scan of other activities in the state, and input from all its stakeholders. From the gap analysis, the CHQC identified several priority areas of focus: promoting effective communication and coordination of care, particularly for children with behavioral health needs; building measurement capacity; and identifying initiatives that address both quality and cost to promote improvements in pediatric care.

The CHQC’s activities are currently spearheaded by three active working groups:

Care Coordination Key Elements Task Force:
  • Defining and supporting implementation of a set of foundational elements of high-performing pediatric care coordination
  • Seeking alignment with commercial and public payers, ACOs, and health systems for testing implementation of the key elements

Output: A Care Coordination Key Elements Framework that identifies priority elements developed from families’ desired outcomes of care coordination. These care coordination elements are linked to process, structure, and outcome measures that can be used to monitor their adoption.

Communication and Confidentiality Task Force:
  • Supporting effective communication between and among those who make up the child’s care coordination network (i.e. providers, families/youth, and schools), while addressing issues of confidentiality

Output: Communication Matters: A Guide for Sharing Information About a Child’s Care addresses questions about information sharing and perceived barriers, and compiles communication tools for the various members of the child’s coordination network

Measure Development Workgroup:
  • Developing the CHQC’s measurement capacity with the goal of promoting an innovative cross-stakeholder approach to pediatric measure development in Massachusetts
  • Facilitating the development of logical, functional specifications to fill the gaps in pediatric care quality measures related to care coordination for children with behavioral health care needs

Output: A network of measurement experts who help drive the measurement capacity in the state and lead the recommendation of new care coordination measure concepts for children with behavioral health needs

Advocating For Children's Health

The CHQC advocates for the inclusion of a pediatric focus in health policy and new system design forums where pediatrics is often under-represented. Priorities include the importance of prevention and early intervention, the different considerations for children with special health care needs compared to adults with significant chronic conditions, and the consequences of using adult quality measures that have not been validated for pediatric populations. To ensure appropriate consideration of children’s issues, the CHQC has been actively engaged in policy and planning discussions in the state, including:

  • Informing the state’s health care reform legislation (Chapter 224), including providing input to the Children’s Behavioral Health Advisory Council to support development of recommendations under the Behavioral Health Integration Task Force’s mandate.
  • Providing recommendations to MassHealth on their Primary Care Payment Reform (PCPR) program.
  • Supporting the state’s application for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid State Innovation Models initiative grant.
  • Recommending that the Statewide Quality Advisory Committee (SQAC) consider a separate set of pediatric measures while working on the Standard Quality Measures Set.


Andrew Balder, MD
Senior Medical Director, Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan
Carolyn Langer, MD, JD, MPH
Chief Medical Officer of MassHealth, Director of the Office of Clinical Affairs, Commonwealth Medicine

Karen Smith
Executive Director of CHQC, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners
Gina Rogers
Founding Executive Director of CHQC and Consultant, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners
Meredith Reynolds
Project Coordinator, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners
Louise Bannister, RN, JD
Project Director, CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Ayesha Cammaerts, MBA
Project Manager, Government Relations and Patient Safety & Quality, Boston Children’s Hospital
Valerie Konar, MBA
Project Manager, CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant, University of Massachusetts Medical School


The CHQC’s operational home is Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP) in Watertown, MA. MHQP serves as a neutral convener, with a long track record of driving measureable improvements in health care quality, patients’ experiences of care, and use of resources in Massachusetts through patient and public engagement and broad-based collaboration among health care stakeholders.

The CHQC’s initial funding is from a five year CHIPRA Quality Demonstration grant awarded to Massachusetts in February 2010. The Massachusetts grant team is led by five partner organizations: MassHealth, Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ), and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

MA Child Health Quality Coalition: Where are we now? What's next?
May 29, 2013 2:00 PM EST

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For more information, please contact Coalition Project Executive Director Karen Smith.


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