Dietitian Blog | Aug 15 2023

What is the Global Malnutrition Composite Score? 

Global Malnutrition Composite Score

Dietitians know the importance of providing good quality malnutrition care. Now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking notice too. Beginning in January 2024, hospitals will have the choice to report on the quality of their malnutrition care. This initiative is called the Global Malnutrition Composite Score. Here’s what you need to know. 

What is the Global Malnutrition Composite Score? 

The Global Malnutrition Composite Score is part of the Inpatient Quality Reporting Program. This initiative requires hospitals who receive reimbursement from CMS to report on the quality of healthcare provided to Medicare beneficiaries. The program includes specific performance metrics that are required for reporting as well as optional data points. Beginning in 2024, the Global Malnutrition Composite Score will be included as one of the optional metrics that hospitals can choose to report on. 

The Global Malnutrition Composite Score takes a closer look at the malnutrition-related care provided to patients aged 65 years and older. There are four components that are included in the score – nutrition screening, nutrition assessment, malnutrition diagnosis, and a nutrition-focused care plan. 

  • Nutrition screening: How many patients aged 65 and older with a hospital length of stay greater than 24 hours were screened for malnutrition risk? 
  • Nutrition assessment: How many patients with a positive nutrition risk screening received a full nutrition assessment by a dietitian? 
  • Malnutrition diagnosis: How many of the patients who were identified by the dietitian as moderately or severely malnourished have an official medical diagnosis of malnutrition? 
  • Nutrition care plan: How many of the patients who were identified by the dietitian as moderately or severely malnourished have a documented nutrition-focused care plan?  

How is the Global Malnutrition Composite Score reported? 

The Global Malnutrition Composite Score is an electronic clinical quality measure, which means all data are collected via the electronic health record (EHR) and reported electronically to CMS. If your facility is considering reporting on the Global Malnutrition Composite Score in 2024 or beyond, it’s a good idea to streamline documentation in the EHR. CMS provides information and a data package to assist with this process. However, this is a project for the hospital informatics team. 

The dietitian’s role 

Dietitians are the malnutrition champions. We are always advocating for our patients’ nutrition needs. In recent years, malnutrition care has come into sharper focus. Chances are, you have already been screening, assessing, diagnosing, and treating malnutrition. Now it’s time to refine and perfect those processes. 

  • Step 1: Decide if your facility would like to report on the Global Malnutrition Composite Score. The metric is optional, meaning it is one of a handful of metrics that hospitals can choose (or not). If your hospital performs really well when it comes to malnutrition care, it may be a good choice to select. 
  • Step 2: Check baseline data. Before deciding to commit to the Global Malnutrition Composite Score, it’s a great idea to collect some baseline data on the four components of the score. This will give you an idea of how well you are doing and target any of the four components that need attention. 
  • Step 3: Perfect your processes. After analyzing baseline data, you may find that you are doing a great job at nutrition screening and assessment but are falling short on securing medical diagnoses of malnutrition. Target any shortcomings and focus on how to improve these processes. Maybe your colleagues need education, training, better communication, or even help from the EHR. After a period of time, recheck the data to see if you have improved. 

Want to learn more about the Global Malnutrition Composite Score? Check out our on-demand webinar and earn a continuing education credit! 

Sara Glanz, registered dietitian

About Sara Glanz

Sara Glanz, MS, RD, LD, CNSC worked as a traveling dietitian for Dietitians On Demand for two years before joining the corporate team. In her current role as Director of Clinical Education, she has championed the continuing education program to empower dietitians everywhere to achieve their professional goals.

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