Want to See Quality Measurement’s Future?

February 18, 2016 · Mary Barton

If you’re at the HIMSS conference on March 1, I welcome you to come learn about the progress that NCQA and 13 health plan partners are making in building the next generation of quality measures.


The collaborative learning project that I’ll discuss at 1:00 PM on March 1 adapted three measures of depression care to report health plan quality using data from electronic clinical data systems (ECDS). Field-tests and advice from stakeholders helped us draft feasible, valid measures. Implementation testing and teaming with health plans helped us identify—and overcome—the challenges of collecting ECDS data for quality measurement.

Why does this matter?

ECDS could make collecting and reporting data faster and easier, greatly enhancing the efficiency and value of quality reporting.

The traditional method of collecting clinical data for health plan quality measures—manual medical record review—is time-consuming and costly. Data derived from insurance claims have served NCQA well for 25 years, but claims data are unlikely to be the basis of future innovation.

We’re on our way to getting practical answers to four key questions:

  • What guidance do health plans need for using ECDS to report HEDIS?
  • Do health plans have the capacity to act on the information provided by these measure results?
  • What obstacles remain to the use of ECDS to improve quality?
  • How can electronic clinical data be used in other HEDIS measures?

The project I’ll discuss March 1 focuses on depression measures. Why depression? Because it has such a profound and pervasive impact on health and well-being. Depression robs people of effective work years. It saps them of the energy to fulfill family responsibilities. It causes a lot of suffering, not only for patients, but also for their loved ones.

If you’re interested in these topics…

  • Depression care.
  • How health plans collect and report population-level performance.
  • Adapting quality measures for the digital era.

…attend NCQA’s presentation, and learn how we’re helping build the e-measurement future.

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