Get Better at Managing Antibiotics:
A New Web Guide

October 18, 2022 · Andy Reynolds

A new website adds two key resources in the fight against antibiotic resistance:

  • A How-To Toolkit: Webinars and written summaries outline best practices, emerging trends and lessons from the field about savvy stewardship of antibiotics.
  • An “Honor Roll”: Learn which health plans’ management of antibiotics leads the industry.

Helping with “How” 

The “Why?” of antibiotic stewardship is longstanding and well known.

The Pew Charitable Trusts and the CDC report an estimated 30% of outpatient antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessarily prescribed. This leads to antibiotic resistance—a problem affecting 2.8 million people every year.

The “How?” of getting better is where the new site stands out. offers:

Honor Roll

The “honor roll” part of our antibiotics website looks like our health plan report cards. The difference is the antibiotics site lists 157 health plans that are in the upper 15% of performance across three HEDIS measures of antibiotics use:

  • Avoidance of Antibiotic Treatment for Acute Bronchitis/ Bronchiolitis.
  • Appropriate Treatment for Upper Respiratory Infection.
  • Appropriate Testing for Pharyngitis.

The 157 plans that rose to the top include:

To ensure apples-to-apples analysis, our methodology had us compare measure results by patients’ age:

  • Children.
  • Adults 18-64.
  • Adults 65+.

This granularity helps ensure we’re making meaningful, nuanced distinctions in identifying top-performing plans.

Want to go deeper and distinguish plans that performed at, say, the 90th or 95th percentile? Quality Compass has that detail—for dozens of measures.

The Bottom Line

  • Antibiotic resistance is a problem we’ve decried for years in our State of Health Care Quality Report, Quality Compass and other projects.
  • New techniques and processes like those we highlight on can help plans be better stewards of antibiotics use.
  • We are grateful to the Pew Charitable Trusts for making it possible for NCQA to bring this vital know-how to people who care about quality.
Section background
Section graphic
Section element
Section element
Stay Informed

Get updates, announcements and trending topics

Join 53k+ health care professionals