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Appropriate Testing For Children With Pharyngitis

This HEDIS Measure

Assesses children 2˗18 years of age who were diagnosed with pharyngitis, dispensed an antibiotic and received a group A streptococcus test for the episode. A higher rate represents better performance (i.e., appropriate testing).

So What?

Pharyngitis, or sore throat, is a leading cause of pediatric ambulatory care visits and can be caused by a virus or by bacteria.1 Viral pharyngitis does not require antibiotic treatment, but antibiotics continue to be inappropriately prescribed. Proper testing and treatment of pharyngitis would prevent the spread of sickness, while reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics.2 Inappropriate treatments with antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance (when antibiotics can no longer cure bacterial infections),3 which makes it essential that children with pharyngitis have appropriate testing, diagnosis and treatment.

References

  1. K. Simon. 2014. “Pediatric Pharyngitis.” http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/967384-overview
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2013. “Is It Strep Throat?” http://www.cdc.gov/Features/strepthroat/
  3. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. 2013. “Antibiotics Aren’t Always the Answer.” http://www.cdc.gov/features/getsmart/
tables
Appropriate Testing Rate
  Commercial Medicaid Medicare
Year HMO PPO HMO HMO PPO
2016  80.7 78.4 66.5  -- --
2015 82.8 81.1 71.1
2014 82.4 80.4 69.5
2013 80.7 78.4 66.5
2012 80.2 78.9 68.0
2011 80.2 79.3 66.7
2010 77.6 76.6 64.9
2009 77.4 75.5 62.3
2008 75.6 74.1 61.4
2007 74.7 73.5 58.7
2006 72.7 69.4 56.0
2005 69.7 64.5 52.0
2004 72.6 54.4