To help improve the quality of care for adult patients with malnutrition and help reduce hospital stays and health care costs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a ruling that includes the Global Malnutrition Composite Score (GMCS) as a quality measure for hospitals.
Stewarded by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and developed by Avalere, the GMCS is the first nutrition-focused quality measure and first electronic measure in any CMS payment program. With the goal of reducing and eliminating malnutrition, the measure is comprised of four components designed to identify and intervene for malnutrition, mitigate risk, and educate patients to help reduce the occurrence and its impact on health:
1. Screen for malnutrition risk: Nutrition screening using a validated tool upon hospital admission
2. Conduct nutrition assessment: Nutrition assessment using a standardized tool for those identified with nutrition risk
3. Document malnutrition diagnosis: Documentation of nutrition diagnosis for those identified as malnourished
4. Develop nutrition care plan: Establishment of a nutrition care plan for those identified as malnourished or at risk
These four components of the GMCS were developed, tested, and fine-tuned through the Malnutrition Quality Improvement Initiative. Implementation of the GMCS and related quality initiatives is an important opportunity for hospitals to address the burden of malnutrition and improve outcomes for patients and families. For more information, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.