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Allison Muma

Principal Associate, Health & Environment

Allison Muma Allison Muma
Allison Muma has more than 25 years of health care research and project management experience, with particular expertise in long term care, quality of care, and Medicare payment policy. This experience includes evaluating the long-term care survey and enforcement processes, quality of care in nursing homes, accuracy of the Minimum Data Set (MDS), and impacts of payment reform.
Muma has significant qualitative research experience including case studies, interviews, structured observations, and focus groups among a variety of populations, including Medicare beneficiaries, consumer advocates and health care providers. She also is skilled in developing data collection instruments, protocols, and training materials for data collection in post-acute care settings.
Muma is directing several large projects for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovations (CMMI). These include primary and secondary data collection as well as quantitative and qualitative analysis.
Muma holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Planning and Policy from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Health Administration from George Washington University.
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  • Medicare payment and policy in post-acute care settings
  • Quality assurance and performance improvement processes
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Management of large, multi-year projects for the federal government

Key Projects

  • Improving Nursing Home Compare and the Five-Star Quality Rating System: Abt Associates worked closely with CMS to develop, implement, refine and support the Five-Star Quality Rating System for nursing homes that was launched as part of the Nursing Home Compare website in December 2008. Abt Associates provided significant analytic input into the development of the rating system, including exploring the statistical distribution of potential measures and the results of alternative specifications of the rating system. The star ratings are publicly reported quality measures that Abt updates monthly and has posted on Nursing Home Compare for all 16,000 U.S. nursing homes.
  • Hospice Payment Reform: Abt Associates conducted comprehensive data analyses examining the utilization of the Medicare Hospice Benefit to help identify vulnerabilities in the current payment system. Abt also modeled alternatives to the current hospice benefit that better align payment with patient resource use and provided extensive operational and rulemaking support to CMS as they refined the payment system and implemented large-scale changes as mandated by section 3132(a) of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Abt’s work contributed to the first major changes to the hospice payment system since the inception of the benefit in 1983.
  • Home Health Value-based Purchasing. Abt Associates is the implementation contactor for Home Health Value Based Purchasing (HHVBP) demonstration being conducted by the CMS Innovation Center. Under HHVBP, CMS is measuring the performance of home health agencies in selected states based on a set of quality measures and make value-based incentive payments to agencies that meet performance standards for a fiscal year. The program aims to hold providers accountable for the quality of care they provide to Medicare beneficiaries and to promote more effective, efficient and high quality care processes.


Selected Publications and Presentations

  • “Six Year Trends from the Nursing Home Compare Five-Star Quality Rating System,” Allison Muma, MHA, Christianna Williams, Ph.D., Alan White, Ph.D., Louise Hadden, B.A., presented at the Geronotological Society of America Annual Research Meeting, November 2015, Orlando, FL.
  • “The Status of QAPI in Nursing Homes: Results of Baseline Data Collection using the Nursing Home Quality Improvement Questionnaire,” Allison Muma, MHA, Patricia Rowan, MPH, presented at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, June 2014, San Diego, Calif.
  • “Evaluation of the Nursing Home Compare Website: Usability Testing of Recent Website Enhancements,” Alrick Edwards, MPH, Elizabeth Rosenzweig, MS, and Allison Muma, MHA, presented at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Research Meeting, November 2013, New Orleans, LA.
  • “Evaluation of the Nursing Home Special Focus Facility (SFF) Program,” Allison Muma, MHA and Patricia Rowan, MPP, Presentation at the 2013 CMS Survey and Certification Group Leadership Summit, April 2013, Annapolis, MD.
  • “Long-Term Care Quality Initiatives: Measurement and Evaluation,” Alan White, Ph.D., Michael Plotzke, Ph.D. and Allison Muma, MHS, presented at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Research Meeting, November 2011, Boston, MA.
  • “Findings from the National Evaluation of Systems Transformation Grants: How States’ Community Long-Term Supports Service Delivery Systems have Changed,” Yvonne Abel, MS, Deborah Walker, Ph.D., Allison Muma, MHA, et al., presented at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, March 2011.
  • “Medicare’s Home Medical Equipment Benefit Before Competitive Bidding: How Satisfied Are Consumers and Their Agents with the Services and Products Furnished?” Ann Meadow, Sc.D., Allison Muma, MHA, Andrea Hassol, M.S., and John Christianson, Ph.D. Presented at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, June 28-30, 2009, Chicago, IL.
  • The Voluntary Consensus Process and Development of Consumer Information: Example of the Assisted Living Disclosure Collaborative,” D.E.B. Potter, William Spector, Dave Kyllo, Karen Love, Allison Muma, Sheryl Zimmerman, and Joan Hyde, 2008 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Annual Conference.