News and Commentary

NCQA Unveils Quality Measures

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has unveiled the first set of quality measures to assess disease management clinical outcomes. When finalized, the 12 measures — covering five chronic disease areas — will allow employers, health plans, consumers, and others to evaluate the performance of disease management organizations.

The proposed measures address asthma, ischemic vascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, diabetes, and heart failure. The measures will examine whether patients are getting the right treatment and procedures in managing their lifestyles and reducing risk. For example, one measure will determine whether patients with ischemic vascular disease are controlling their blood pressure appropriately.

“More than 50 million Americans live with one or more chronic conditions,” says NCQA Vice President L. Gregory Pawlson, MD, MPH. “Disease management can be an effective way of improving the quality of their health and lives. Yet we know far too little about the effectiveness of these programs.” NCQA has long assessed the performance of disease management companies through its accreditation and certification processes.

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