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Proposed 2009 HEDIS Measures Address Immunization, Obesity Rates

The National Committee for Quality Assurance, in its never-ending effort to improve its own quality, wants to expand what the committee’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures look at in 2009.

As part of what the NCQA calls its “effectiveness of care” measure, the committee will review how well health plans immunize adolescents. Proposed is a measure to evaluate the percentage of adolescents who have one dose of meningococcal (MCV4 or MPSV4) vaccine and one tetanus, diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap), or diphtheria toxoids (Td) vaccine by the 13th birthday.

Perhaps to reinforce that health care is a cradle-to-grave endeavor, the NCQA also wants to tweak the way it measures the sort of care health plans provide older adults. The NCQA wants to know who, 65 or older, receives a functional status assessment, pain screening, advance care planning, and medication review during the measurement year.

The committee also wants to see how well plans track medication compliance by older people by measuring how many get their prescriptions filled after being discharged from the hospital.

In addition, the NCQA wants to find out how many adults, 18–74, have their body mass index measured. In the same vein, how many children, 2–17, have evidence of BMI percentile assessment, counseling for nutrition, and counseling for physical activity during the measurement year?

Those are the proposed new HEDIS measures. Meanwhile, the NCQA wants to tweak existing measures by adding diagnostic mammography to its breast cancer screening measure, adding hepatitis A, rotavirus, and influenza vaccines to its childhood immunization measure, and retiring the optimal practitioner contacts rate for its antidepressant medication management measure.

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