Nov 20, 2019
AARP Names 2019 Quality Measures Innovation Grant Winners
National Kidney Foundation and the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality receive grants for proposals to improve health care of older adults.
Lina Walker, PhD, AARP Public Policy Institute; Matt Austin, PhD, Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality; Joe Vassalotti, MD, National Kidney Foundation; Lynda Flowers, JD, MSN, RN, AARP Public Policy Institute

WASHINGTON—AARP is pleased to announce that the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality are the winners of the 2019 AARP Quality Measures Innovation Grant. Each winner will receive a grant of $150,000 and have access to OptumLabs unique dataset to develop novel health quality measures that address important gaps in care for older Americans. The announcement was made today at the OptumLabs Research & Translation Forum in Boston.

AARP, in collaboration with OptumLabs, established the Quality Measures Innovation Grant program in 2016. The grants support projects designed to develop and/or test innovative health quality and performance measures that can improve patient care. Together with the National Quality Forum Measure Incubator®, the AARP grants aid efforts to improve the lives of older Americans. The grants are awarded every two years.

About this year’s grant winners:

National Kidney Foundation – Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Measure

NKF, in collaboration with AMGA, National Committee for Quality Assurance, PCPI, and the University of California San Francisco, proposed a performance measure to evaluate kidney health in adults with diabetes mellitus (DM). They propose to measure levels of kidney function and damage for patients diagnosed and treated for DM to assist with early detection and prediction of patient risk levels of CKD. This is an important measure for older adults because they have a high prevalence of CKD and DM. The measure will help improve testing, identification, and evidence-based care for American adults with DM and CKD.

Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality – Stroke Misdiagnosis Measure

The Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality proposed to measure stroke misdiagnosis in hospital emergency rooms (ER). The measure is based on Symptom-Disease Pair Analysis of Diagnostic Error (SPADE), a framework and methodological approach for uncovering misdiagnosis-related harms using “big data.” This measure focuses on patients who experience a poor outcome (i.e., a stroke) when their symptoms were not correctly diagnosed at an ER visit. The correct diagnosis of stroke is vitally important as it is among the top five leading causes of death and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the U.S. This is an important measure for older patients because 75% of all strokes occur in patients over age 65 and misdiagnosis of stroke results in substantial harm for all ages.

# # #

About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

About OptumLabs
OptumLabs is a collaborative research and innovation center, dedicated to health system improvement by using data and data-science driven insights to accelerate sustainable and scalable improvements in clinical outcomes and total cost of care.

About National Quality Forum
The National Quality Forum (NQF) works with members of the healthcare community to drive measurable health improvements together. NQF is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization that gives all healthcare stakeholders a voice in advancing quality measures and improvement strategies that lead to better outcomes and greater value. Learn more at

About NQF Measure Incubator
NQF’s Measure Incubator facilitates efficient quality measure development in critical areas of health and healthcare that do not have enough or the right kind of quality measures to drive improvement. Through expert collaboration and driven by a strict code of ethics, the Measure Incubator brings together the necessary resources—measure development experts, clinicians, patients, data sources, and funding—to spur the development of measures needed to improve health outcomes.

Media Contact: Greg Phillips, 202-434-2560,, @AARPMedia