FAQ Directory: HEDIS

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9.14.2018 In the HEDIS 2019 Volume 2 Technical Specifications, the Risk of Continued Opioid Use (COU) measure includes the Medicare product line; however, this measure was not included in the CMS Reporting Requirements memo for HEDIS 2019. Given this discrepancy, is the COU measure reported by Medicare plans?

Risk of Continued Opioid Use

The COU measure does include the Medicare product line, and it will be collected in IDSS by NCQA from Medicare plans; however, because it was not included in the CMS Reporting Requirements memo, it is not required to be reported to CMS for HEDIS 2019.

7.16.2018 Does a member enrolled in palliative care meet criteria for the hospice exclusion outlined in General Guideline 17?

General Guidelines

Palliative care is not the same as hospice care because it can begin when a patient is diagnosed or is undergoing treatment and may not indicate being near end of life. The hospice exclusion requires evidence that the member is receiving hospices services. Documentation that a member is in palliative care is not part of the exclusion.

7.16.2018 Why is buprenorphine included in the Use of Opioids From Multiple Providers (UOP) and Risk of Continued Opioid Use (COU) measures, but not in the Use of Opioids at High Dosage (UOD) measure?

Use of Opioids at High Dosage

Unlike UOP and COU, UOD requires the conversion of all dispensed opioids into morphine milligram equivalents (MME). The most current MME conversion file, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, removes buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, and states that the drug is not likely to be associated with overdose in the same dose-dependent manner as pure opioid agonists. NCQA removed it from the UOD measure in HEDIS 2019. This change aligns with the decision made by the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, the organization that developed the measure from which UOD was adapted for use in HEDIS.

5.16.2018 What data standards does NCQA use to specify ECDS measures?


HEDIS ECDS measures use the Quality Data Model (QDM) and Clinical Quality Language (CQL) HL7 standards for quality measurement.

5.16.2018 Do you utilize FHIR to specify ECDS measures?


No. HEDIS ECDS measures use Quality Data Model (QDM) 5.3 as the reference model, although NCQA is researching the use of FHIR as a possible option.  

5.16.2018 How do ECDS measures differ from the eMeasures in Meaningful Use (eCQMs)?


HEDIS ECDS measures are similar to eCQMs in structure, but although eCQMs are reported at the provider level, using data from an EHR, ECDS measures are reported at the health-plan level, using data from multiple sources to form a complete picture of the patient’s experience across the care continuum.

5.02.2018 For the Count of Expected 30-Day Readmissions, we are using the calculation in Step 6 in HEDIS Volume 2 (pg. 384), but IDSS is calculating differently. Is this calculation correct?

Plan All-Cause Readmissions

The calculation for the Count of Expected 30-Day Readmissions is incorrect in Volume 2. IDSS currently calculates this field by using the formula "Count of Expected 30-Day Readmissions" = "Expected Readmission Rate" * "Count of Index Stays". Please provide data for the Expected Readmission Rate and the Count of Index Stays and IDSS will use these values to generate the correct calculation.   

3.15.2018 There is a discrepancy between Step 7 in the Risk Adjustment Weighting section (page 384) and in all the PCR reporting tables for how to calculate the Expected Readmissions Rate. Which one is correct?

Plan All-Cause Readmissions

Organizations must use the formula in Step 7 to calculate the Expected Readmissions Rate for PCR. The reference in the PCR reporting tables of the “(Expected Readmissions/Den)” is incorrect. The data element should only be “Expected Readmissions Rate.” This removal of the incorrect calculation instruction will be made in the Interactive Data Submission System (IDSS) and data dictionaries. 

3.15.2018 If an organization reports the measure using the hybrid method and reports two indicators using administrative data from one provider, is the organization limited to only the medical record of that provider when searching for medical record documentation for the other indicators?

Transitions of Care

No. The Notification of Inpatient Admission and Receipt of Discharge Information indicators do not have to be documented in the same provider chart as the indicators that were reported administratively. Organizations may search the medical record of a different provider for those indicators that were not reported using administrative data.  

3.15.2018 If the medical record contains a notation of a type of advance care plan (e.g., advance directive, actionable medical orders, living will, surrogate decision maker, full code, DNR) with documentation of “yes” or “no,” does this meet criteria?

Care for Older Adults

If “yes” is documented for a type of advance care plan, this is considered evidence that a member has an advance care plan in place and meets criteria. If “no” is documented, this is considered evidence that the member does not have this type of advance care plan in place and does not meet criteria. For example, documentation of “DNR – No” indicates “the member does not have a DNR,” and does not meet criteria. In addition, documentation of “no” is not considered evidence of an advance care planning discussion (asking if a member has an advance care plan in place and documenting “no” is not considered a discussion). 

2.15.2018 Should organizations include only paid claims for ECDS measures?

ECDS General Guidelines

No. Organizations must include all paid, suspended, pending and denied claims for ECDS measures. Currently, ECDS General Guideline 4 states to include only services for which the reporting entity has paid or expects to pay, but because none of the other eligible sources require payment status, any claims should be accepted. The guideline is incorrect and will be corrected for HEDIS 2019

2.15.2018 Does sports participation meet the criterion for physical developmental history?

Adolescent Well-Care Visits

Yes. Documentation of participation in sports or in physical activity meets the criterion for physical developmental history. Bright Futures states that a goal of observing development in adolescents is to determine whether they are developing skills for becoming healthy adults—such as good nutrition and physical activity.