Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont.
Associate Vice President for Informatics and Data Serices
Fenway Community Health Center
New York, New Jersey.
Executive Vice President, Finance, IT, Capital Projects & HR
Charles B Wang Community Health Center Inc.
Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland.
Medical Director for Quality Improvement
Unity Health Center, Inc.
Minnesota, Wisconson, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana.
Chief Informatic Officer
Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico.
Vice President of Finance
Presbyterian Medical Services Health Center
Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas.
Center for Health Care Quality
Missouri Primary Care Association
Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah.
Chief Executive Officer
Colorado Community Managed Care Network
Nevada, California, Hawaii, Arizona.
Chief Executive Officer
Marana Main Health Center
Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho.
Quality Metrics Program Manager
Steering Committee Charter
The following charter establishes the UTC steering committee. The charter provides guidance for UTC membership, responsibilities, and governance. Click on the toggles below to explore specific sections of the UTC Charter.
The Uniform Data System (UDS) Test Cooperative (UTC) has been established by the CMS Alliance to Modernize Healthcare Federally Funded Research and Development Center (Health FFRDC) and was launched to be a collaborative network of UDS stakeholders, including health centers, Primary Care Associations (PCA), and Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs) to support early testing of the feasibility and impact of potential changes to the UDS reporting before broader implementation.
As part the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) oversight responsibility, health centers must compile and report data relating to operations of the Health Center Program. BPHC utilizes the UDS to collect these data from health centers to ensure compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements, improve health center performance and operations, and report on program performance.
Since 2016, BPHC has been focused on a systematic modernization of the UDS reporting process with the following objectives:
- Increase data standardization across health centers to benchmark, trend, and infuse appropriate Federal investments
- Reduce the reporting burden on health centers
- Increase data quality to better gauge disease prevalence, and other outcomes in vulnerable populations
- Expand data use to drive evidence-based care
The overall aim of the UTC is to provide HRSA  with a sustainable test capability to achieve its modernization objectives, designed to be an enduring capability that will live beyond the current UDS modernization effort. The UTC will test the feasibility and impact of changes to UDS with UTC participating health centers to inform and refine the requirements prior to a broader roll-out to all health centers. The UTC will support and enable collaboration and transparency in UDS modernization activities. By conducting tests with a representative sample of health centers and related stakeholders, the UTC will foster long-term avoidance of errors, costs, and high burden.
The MITRE Corporation (MITRE), a not-for-profit organization chartered to work in the public interest, operates FFRDCs for the federal government  and serves as an objective, independent advisor to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other Health and Human Services (HHS) operating divisions. As the operator of the CMS Alliance to Modernize Healthcare FFRDC (Health FFRDC), MITRE provides support to HRSA by leading the UDS modernization project. Accordingly, the term “Health FFRDC” will be used throughout this document to indicate the MITRE team.
1. Though not formally a member, HRSA representatives will participate in the UTC Steering Committee meetings.
2. UTC Steering Committee
The purpose of the Steering Committee is to help establish and maintain a sustainable test capability; organize, support and oversee the execution of tests; and provide strategic and tactical guidance to the Health FFRDC, all to help ensure the goals of UDS modernization efforts are achieved.
This Charter establishes the Steering Committee as the primary collaborative body of the UTC, serving in an advisory role to the Health FFRDC. All agreements, decisions, and recommendations made by the Steering Committee are subject to review and approval by the Health FFRDC. The Health FFRDC shall be transparent in ensuring that the Steering Committee has information about the agreement, decisions, and recommendations that the Health FFRDC communicates to HRSA.
The Steering Committee will not directly offer policy recommendations to HRSA. Rather, the Health FFRDC will provide recommendations to HRSA that are informed by the advice and guidance of the Steering Committee.
2.2 Committee Responsibilities
The Steering Committee has the following responsibilities:
- Collaborate with the Health FFRDC to develop a strategy for achieving the short- and long-term goals of the UTC.
- Provide feedback on planned tests, define strategies for achieving successful test outcomes, and support the implementation of those strategies.
- Optimize participation from health centers and identify potential stakeholders to test changes proposed by HRSA. Stakeholders may include health centers, IT vendors, PCAs, HCCNs and National Cooperative Agreement (NCA) partners.
3. Steering Committee Membership
3.1 Steering Committee Criteria
- The Health FFRDC established the Steering Committee to ensure that, as a whole, the Steering Committee is diverse and comprises members who offer thought leadership and deep expertise, who are positioned to impact change, and who are able to dedicate the requisite amount of time and energy to the UTC’s work.
- Individual Steering Committee members will be considered based on their commitment and experience in achieving the UTC’s goals and their ability to take and catalyze action within their spheres of influence.
- In its sole discretion, the Health FFRDC will select Steering Committee members to ensure the diversity of perspectives is carefully maintained. The process set forth in this Charter provides an opportunity to reassess the diversity of qualifications, experience, and knowledge represented on the Steering Committee.
- Steering Committee members agree to execute the roles and responsibilities and abide by the terms of this Charter. Members will execute a Membership Agreement in a form designated by the Health FFRDC.
3.2 Steering Committee Rotation Policy
Each Steering Committee member is appointed to a three (3) year term for the initial phase as the UTC matures to its stable operational state. The following rotation policy applies:
- Approximately one-third of the Steering Committee membership shall be rotated on an annual basis by the Health FFRDC. The decision to rotate Steering Committee members shall be based on length of service and by a lottery process.
- The initial rotation shall occur the third year of operation of the UTC and be done by soliciting volunteers and then by lottery to fulfill the rotation of one-third of the members.
- Rotations for the fourth year of operation of the UTC shall be done by soliciting volunteers from the remaining original cohort of Steering Committee members and then by lottery to fulfill the rotation of one-third of the members.
- Rotations for each year thereafter shall be done by length of service.
- The Health FFRDC shall circulate an updated rotation list to the Steering Committee annually, indicating the current term of membership expiration.
3.3 Steering Committee Selection Process
- The Health FFRDC shall seek referrals for new Steering Committee members from UTC participants, or a subset of UTC participants, as appropriate for the open position based on the criteria set forth above in Section 3.1. The Health FFRDC will also invite any Steering Committee member to nominate prospective candidates in writing, which can be done by e-mail, and such writing shall be sent to the Health FFRDC Project Leader for consideration.
- Each Steering Committee member will be selected to participate as an individual based on his/her expertise. A membership position on the Steering Committee is not owned by the Steering Committee member’s organization and it should not be assumed that another member of the same organization will fill the seat. If it is determined a replacement is needed, the Health FFRDC will select a replacement based on the selection criteria used to identify the previous members.
- In the event that a Steering Committee member changes employment or resigns prior to the end of the appointed term, or the Health FFRDC decides to expand the Steering Committee’s size, or a vacancy otherwise arises, the Health FFRDC will select a replacement based on the selection criteria used to identify the previous members.
- In the event that a Steering Committee member has a change in status that impacts the intended Steering Committee design (e.g., member changes organization represented), or if a member is unable to fulfill their responsibilities (e.g., non-attendance at scheduled meetings), the Health FFRDC will determine if the member should continue to serve on the Steering Committee or be replaced.
4.1 Steering Committee Chairperson
The Steering Committee Chairperson or Co-chair shall serve for one year term. The responsibilities of the Steering Committee Chairperson or Co-Chairs are as follows:
- Collaborate with the Health FFRDC in setting the strategy and direction of the UTC and work closely with the Health FFRDC to accomplish the work of the Steering Committee.
- Collaborate with the Health FFRDC and other members of the Steering Committee to encourage commitments from test participants to support the UTC’s goals.
- Serve as a key leader at in-person meetings and on conference calls to help ensure all voices are heard, deliberations are efficient and effective, and meeting objectives are achieved.
- Ensure that the Steering Committee functions properly, including but not limited to, engaging full participation of Steering Committee members, promoting discussion of relevant matters, and assuring the completion of agreements and actions.
- Represent the UTC and occasionally act as a spokesperson and ambassador for the work of the UTC.
- Facilitate consensus decision making process and determine when a vote by the Steering Committee members is needed and if more than one set of recommendations should be given to the Health FFRDC.
4.2 Steering Committee Member Expectations
The responsibilities of each Steering Committee member are as follows:
- Participate in in-person meetings and conference calls over the term of the Steering Committee; provided that the Steering Committee Member may from time-to-time delegate meeting or call participation to a person designated in advance in writing to serve as back-up.
- Dedicate the time and energy to participate in and contribute to the work of the Steering Committee, including but not limited to, reviewing pre-meeting materials, coordinating with test participants, and providing feedback on recommendations developed by the Health FFRDC.
- Engage with own stakeholder community to advance the goals of the UTC. PCAs/HCCNs serve as coordinators/liaisons for their members and will identify potential test participants and help ensure successful test outcomes.
- Engage with PCA/HCCNs not represented by the Steering Committee members to elicit and consider perspectives, inputs and idiosyncrasies from other communities.
- Cover travel expenses to in-person Steering Committee meetings, which will be scheduled in conjunction with major conferences.
- Affirmatively disclose any potential perceived or real conflict of interest (COI) to the Health FFRDC in the Membership Agreement. For example, a COI may arise from the singular pursuit of individual personal interests in contravention to the purposes of the Steering Committee as described in Section 2 of this Charter. A COI could also include financial or other relationships that potentially or apparently might impair an individual’s objective judgment or result in the use of non-public information for personal gain.
- Conduct themselves in a cordial, respectful manner during all Steering Committee meetings and UTC activities.
4.3 Health FFRDC Expectations
- The responsibilities of the Health FFRDC team are as follows:
- Serve as a non-voting member of the Steering Committee.
- Organize, facilitate, and support participation and collaboration among Steering Committee members and UTC participants to achieve the UTC’s goals.
- Make recommendations to the Steering Committee on the portfolio of tests to conduct and the timing and sequencing of those tests.
- Develop test plans (including objectives, scope, success criteria, schedule, and criteria for Health Center selection) for Steering Committee member review and update the test plans based on the feedback of the Steering Committee.
- Coordinate with test participants to support the execution of the tests.
- Aggregate and analyzes results and produce anonymized reports/recommendations to the Steering Committee for review, validation, and refinement.
- Implement security controls, secure sensitive data and results, and protect all information against unauthorized disclosure.
- Manage all agreements, memorandums of understanding, and processes to ensure UTC efficiency and effectiveness.
- Share results with the broader UDS stakeholder community in accordance with the strategic direction of the Steering Committee.
5. Process for Reaching Agreement
Steering Committee agreements will be premised on developing consensus through discussion and consideration of multiple options whenever possible. When full consensus is not possible, the Chairperson will determine if a majority vote is required, or if multiple opinions should be submitted for Health FFRDC consideration. Additionally, where appropriate dissenting opinions will be documented and submitted with recommendations.
As previously stated in Section 2, the Steering Committee will not offer advice or policy recommendations to a governmental agency, and all agreements, decisions, and recommendations made by the Steering Committee are subject to review and approval by the Health FFRDC.
6.1 Meeting Frequency
The Steering Committee meetings will take place both virtually and face-to-face as needed to conduct Steering Committee business in a timely manner. To make it most convenient for members, whenever possible the face-to-face meetings will be scheduled to coincide with national meetings.
6.2 Meeting Attendance
All Steering Committee members or their designee are expected to attend all meetings. In the event that a member is unable to attend a meeting, the member is expected to coordinate with the Health FFRDC to submit comments and/or recommendation in advance of the meeting.
6.3 Meeting Openness
Meetings will be conducted as closed sessions unless Steering Committee members previously determine that a given meeting (or portion of a meeting) is public. The Steering Committee and the Health FFRDC are committed to transparency and will share results and frequent updates to UDS users and interested parties as appropriate.
6.4 Records and Reporting
The Health FFRDC will create adequate and proper documentation to support the work of the Steering Committee. Records may include, but are not limited to, membership rosters, agendas, reports, notes, and working papers created and used in the course of the work of the UTC.
The Health FFRDC will develop initial draft meeting notes which capture details of the discussions held during Steering Committee meetings. These initial draft meeting notes will be distributed to the members for discussion, comment, and to incorporate any necessary revisions. The meeting notes are not approved for public release and/or for further dissemination to other parties.
This Agreement may only be modified by a simple majority decision of the Steering Committee. The Health FFRDC shall also, not later than thirty (30) days prior to the modification effective date, notify each Steering Committee Member of the changes to this Agreement by electronic mail sent to such Steering Committee Member’s electronic mail as set forth in the signature block of the Steering Committee Member’s Agreement. If a Steering Committee Member does not accept any such modifications, then prior to the Modification Effective Date, the Member may terminate participation in the Steering Committee and this Agreement. In the absence of a written notice of termination from a Steering Committee Member, the Health FFRDC shall deem the modifications have been accepted by the Steering Committee Member as of the modification effective date.
Steering Committee Resources
Resources will be shared here as they become available.
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